Attitudes on Foreign and Security Policy in the U.S. and Germany: A Comparison at the Mass and Elite Level
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.
Collecting, cleaning, and documentation of the secondary data used in the project could be completed in 2012. Furthermore, a preliminary concept for comparative research design was developed and first analyses were carried out. Results were presented at international conferences and several articles have been published or are currently under review. A monograph analysing attitudes towards foreign and security policy in Germany and the U.S. is under preparation.