National Leadership and Foreign Policy: A Case Study in the Mobilization of Public Support

By James N. Rosenau | Go to book overview

building hypothesis presented in Chapter I than for the negative version. At least the frequency of interaction between different kinds of national leaders is sufficient to permit the growth of a shared sense of community, if not of common values and patterned modes of behavior. More accurately, assuming that the interaction rate varies, as suggested above, from issue to issue, then there would appear to be sufficient communication for consensuses to form around the high interaction issues. In this sense the opinion- making public is not so much a structured whole as a series, so to speak, of policy communities, each of which has its, own structural and normative features that derive from the nature of the policy around which it forms. As will be seen, there is some evidence that the foreign aid issue forms the basis of a policy community.


Summary

The analysis of this chapter followed three main lines of inquiry: (1) the types of access to the communications system which are available to opinion-makers; (2) the differential opinion-making capacities to which the different types give rise; and (3) the means and extent of interaction between opinion-makers. In the first instance it was found that a large proportion of the conferees occupied positions which formally prescribed some kind of access to the channels of communication, but that many of them were also provided informal types of access by their community. The most widespread form of formal access was participation in organizational deliberations which lead to pronouncements on public issues. As for the informal types of access, the conferees reported greater accessibility to the lecture platform than to the radio or television studio, which in turn was more accessible to them than the printed page.

The second line of inquiry yielded several noteworthy findings. The overall opinion-making capacity derived from different combinations and degrees of access was found to vary greatly. Yet, while the conferees were distributed within

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