Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Public Opinion and International Intervention: Lessons from the Iraq War

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Public Opinion and International Intervention: Lessons from the Iraq War

Article excerpt

Public Opinion and International Intervention: Lessons from the Iraq War. Edited by Richard Sobel, Peter Furia, and Bethany Barratt Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, 2012.306 pp. $29.95.

Sobel, senior research associate in Harvard University's program in psychiatry and the law, is co-editor of this fine work in the embryonic field of analyzing the impact of public opinion on foreign policy. The anthology explores the effects of public opinion on six countries that participated in the Iraq war that began in 2003 : the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Poland, the Netherlands, and Japan; and six that did not: Germany, France, Mexico, India, Turkey, and Canada.

The authors' general conclusions are useful. There seems to be little evidence of a "rally around the flag" effect in the run-up to and during the height of the conflict, nor did casualty rates make an apparent impact on public opinion. Governments faced negligible electoral consequences when public opposition was ignored. Not surprisingly, the four countries in Iraq for the longest period had the highest initial public support for war.

The sections on Japan, U.K., and Poland are sound, and the breadth of analysis in the Germany chapter masterful. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.