In Influence from Abroad, Danny Hayes and Matt Guardino show that United States public opinion about American foreign policy can be shaped by foreign leaders and representatives of international organizations. By studying news coverage, elite debate, and public opinion prior to the Iraq War, the authors demonstrate that US media outlets aired and published a significant amount of opposition to the invasion from official sources abroad, including British, French, and United Nations representatives. In turn, these foreign voices - to which millions of Americans were exposed - drove many Democrats and independents to signal opposition to the war, even as domestic elites supported it. Contrary to conventional wisdom that Americans care little about the views of foreigners, this book shows that international officials can alter domestic public opinion, but only when the media deem them newsworthy. Their conclusions raise significant questions about the democratic quality of United States foreign policy debates.
Danny Hayes is Assistant Professor of Political Science at George Washington University. Professor Hayes is a former journalist whose research focuses on how information from the media and other political actors influences citizens' attitudes during public policy debates and election campaigns. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation and has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, Political Behavior, Political Communication, Politics and Gender, American Politics Research, and Presidential Studies Quarterly. He is a contributor to the Washington Post's Wonkblog. Matt Guardino is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Providence College. Professor Guardino is a former journalist whose research focuses on the political-economic forces that shape news coverage of public policy debates, how media coverage affects public opinion, and how these dynamics impact the health of democracy. His work has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Political Communication, and New Political Science.
1. The puzzle of polarized opinion: elite discourse, mass media, and American foreign policy attitudes; 2. Us vs. them: domestic support and foreign opposition in media coverage of the Iraq War debate; 3. Byrd gets no word: journalistic norms and the replacement of domestic dissent with foreign opposition; 4. When foreign voices persuade: predispositions, partisanship, and international influence on US public opinion; 5. Conclusion: foreign voices, new media, and democratic accountability in US foreign policy; Appendix A: variable information; Appendix B: statistical models.