Attitudes on Foreign and Security Policy in the U.S. and Germany: A Comparison at the Mass and Elite Level

Research question/goal: 

The project seeks to compare foreign and security policy orientations of the public and of political elites in the United States and Germany over time since the end of the Cold War. Therefore, all available data from relevant mass and elite surveys are collected and analyzed from a cognitive psychology perspective. Developments, structures as well as determinants of foreign and security policy orientations are investigated. We especially focus on the interrelation between public opinion and elite orientations. These analyses will contribute to answer questions of attitudinal research as well as of foreign policy research. They will shed light on how the foreign policy orientations of citizens and elites in the U.S. and Germany have responded to the changes in the international system and foreign affairs since 1989/90. In particular, we can address the controversial issue if, how and in which phases the two countries have drifted apart with regard to foreign and security policy orientations of citizens and elites. Furthermore, the project will clarify the relation between public opinion and elite orientations in both countries and will thus help to better understand the process of foreign policy formation.

Current stage: 

Extensive analyses regarding the development of foreign and security policy belief systems of German and American citizens and elites since the end of the Cold War have been carried out. Moreover, we investigated how foreign and security policy orientations have changed, given the altered geopolitical situation (from 1970 to 2010). The results of these analyses will be presented in a monograph which is to be published in 2015. Furthermore, several articles are currently under review.

Fact sheet

Funding: 
DFG
Duration: 
2010 to 2015
Status: 
ongoing
Data Sources: 
Survey data
Geographic Space: 
USA, Germany

Publications