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Is It the Economy or Foreign Policy, Stupid? The Impact of Foreign Crises on Leader Support

Jaroslav Tir and Shane P. Singh
Comparative Politics
Vol. 46, No. 1 (October 2013), pp. 83-101
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43664334
Page Count: 19
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Is It the Economy or Foreign Policy, Stupid? The Impact of Foreign Crises on Leader Support
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Abstract

The public support literature maintains that leader popularity is driven by the state of the economy. Yet, according to the diversionary theory of war, foreign crisis participation may help an unpopular leader bolster his or her political fortunes through a rallyaround-the-flag effect. Utilizing CSES Module II surveys covering twenty-six countries, 2001-2006, comparative investigation that links countries' foreign crises participation with individual-level data on subsequent support for their leaders is useful. Multi-level analyses reveal that foreign crisis participation draws attention to foreign policy issues, increases support for the leader, and comes close to offsetting the negative impact of unemployment. While employed and unemployed individuals respond to crises nearly equally, the crises help the leader less among citizens concerned about foreign policy.

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