Principal Investigators: Prof. Dr. Harald Schoen; Prof. Dr. Hans Rattinger
Duration: 2010 to 2015
The project seeks to compare foreign and security policy orientations of the public and of political elites in Germany and the United States over time since the end of the Cold War. Therefore, all available data from relevant mass and elite surveys are collected and analyzed – for the first time in comparative attitudinal research – from a cognitive psychological 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 political science 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.
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).