Oil wealth and US public support for war

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    Photo: Cover of journal CMPB
Publishers Website

Ross James Gildea, DPhil student, has co-authored an article on how oil wealth of a potential target state affects US public opinion about military force.

Abstract

How does the oil wealth of a potential target state affect the likelihood of the US public favoring the use of military force? Recent studies suggest that public opinion on foreign policy is responsive to the core characteristics of target states, such as regime type and majority religion. This article advances this research agenda by examining the effects of intra-regime heterogeneity in respect of an important characteristic of target states: their oil wealth. To examine the relationship between oil wealth and US public opinion on war, the researchers fielded a conjoint experiment with US citizens. Respondents chose between hypothetical pairs of target states that varied across seven different intra-regime characteristics. The results found that that the oil wealth of a target exerts a statistically significant (albeit small) effect on public support for the use of force, independent of the effects of other regime characteristics.