Matthias Mader, Jana Pötzschke
National Identities and Mass Belief Systems on Foreign and Security Policy in Germany

German Politics, 2014: 23, issue 1-2, pp. 59-77
ISSN: 0964-4008 (print); 1743-8993 (online)

The article analyses how German citizens' national identities are linked to their belief systems regarding foreign and security policy. Previous research has pointed out that citizens' belief systems are not unconstrained, but organised hierarchically. Especially domain-specific predispositions have been shown to structure policy attitudes. Against the backdrop of the prominence national history is granted in public discourse, the article argues that in Germany national identities influence both predispositions and attitudes concerning foreign and security policy. Using data from a representative telephone survey of German adults, a structural equation model is used to test this hypothesis. The results show that different types of national identities have distinct effects on domain-specific predispositions and attitudes towards the German participation in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan.