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War and Democratic ConstraintHow the Public Influences Foreign Policy$
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Matthew A. Baum and Philip B. K. Potter

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164984

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164984.001.0001

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Willing and Politically Able: Democratic Constraint and Coalition Joining

Willing and Politically Able: Democratic Constraint and Coalition Joining

(p.103) 5 Willing and Politically Able: Democratic Constraint and Coalition Joining
War and Democratic Constraint

Matthew A. Baum

Philip B. K. Potter

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the effects of party systems and media access on public attitudes and government decisions regarding coalition joining in the periods leading up to and immediately following the initiations of two distinct multinational military conflicts: Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Drawing on cross-national data on public support for the Iraq War and Afghanistan invasion and the decisions of countries to contribute troops to the coalitions that the United States sought to assemble in both conflicts, the chapter shows that the quality and flow of information from whistleblowers mediates public support for intervention and leaders' responsiveness to public sentiment. Countries with more political parties were more likely to have populations opposed to the wars and to contribute fewer troops to the coalitions as their access to mass media increased. In contrast, in states with fewer parties, increased media access is associated with lower opposition to the wars and stronger troop commitments.

Keywords:   media access, coalition joining, military conflicts, Iraq War, Afghanistan invasion, information, whistleblowers, political parties, troop commitment, leaders

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