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Public Images of the Soviet Union: The Impact on Foreign Policy Attitudes

Hurwitz, Jon ; Peffley, Mark

The Journal of Politics, 1990, Vol.52(1), pp.3-28 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Public Images of the Soviet Union: The Impact on Foreign Policy Attitudes
  • Author: Hurwitz, Jon ; Peffley, Mark
  • Description: How do citizens organize, and make sense of, a complex policy domain such as foreign policy? To a large extent, Americans base their policy choices on fundamental assumptions concerning the nature of the main U.S. postwar adversary—the Soviet Union. Our purpose in this paper is to examine both the antecedents and the consequences of these Soviet images. To what degree do basic understandings of the USSR shape individuals' foreign policy preferences? And what are the origins of strong anti-Soviet beliefs? We investigate these questions with survey data collected in June 1987 in the Lexington, Kentucky area ( N = 610). Judgments of the Soviet Union on two important dimensions—trust and threat—are found to be closely related to foreign policy attitudes at both general and specific levels.
  • Is Part Of: The Journal of Politics, 1990, Vol.52(1), pp.3-28
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0022-3816 ; E-ISSN: 1468-2508 ; DOI: 10.2307/2131417
  • Subjects: Conflict ; United States, 1945 To Present ; Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics ; Article

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