What affects global public opinion about U.S. foreign policy? The authors examine this question using a cross-national survey conducted during and immediately after the 2001 U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. They propose three models of global public opinion-interests. socialization, and influence-and discuss their empirical validity. Socialization variables (e.g., Muslim population and past terrorist incidents) tend to exhibit significant effects. A variable measuring shared security interests, North Atlantic Treaty Organization membership, has significant effects in favor of U.S. policy, but other mutual defense pacts with the U.S. have a backlash effect. Shared economic interests, represented by levels of trade, also have a positive influence. Variables measuring conflicting security interests as well as those measuring U.S. efforts to influence foreign public opinion have insignificant or weak effects.
Journal of Conflict Resolution Vol. 49, no. 3, p. 408-429