Public Evaluation of Presidential Performance During Foreign Policy Crises
This paper examines criteria the public use when evaluating a president’s action in foreign policy. It attempts to discern who has the upper hand in shaping public opinion on foreign policy choices pursued by the president: policymaking elites in Congress or the media? Previous studies have shown that media cues are generally inconsequential in determining public support for presidential actions in a foreign policy crisis, particular when placed in a Cold War framework. Even without the Cold War framework, however, the media appears largely irrelevant in determining public interpretation of presidential actions during a crisis. This finding supports prior understandings of a rational public not susceptible to media slant, but also suggests that the president, with Congressional support, has considerable leeway to provide frames of evaluation, and control basic facts early in the crisis to win public support. The implications for democratic accountability are discussed.
Jason Dempsey. "Public Evaluation of Presidential Performance During Foreign Policy Crises" The Forum 4.1 (2006).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jason_dempsey/1
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