The Popular Disregard for Foreign Policy

Lawrence Davidson

in Foreign Policy, Inc.

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125244
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135021 | DOI:
The Popular Disregard for Foreign Policy

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Studies have shown that most Americans pay little attention to international affairs and do so only when the issues begin to impinge on their lives. Because of this naturally occurring localism, many Americans form their opinions on foreign policy based on information they get from so-called pundits and from the stylized news provided by media. However, this “out of sight, out of mind” attitude gives Americans a false sense of security and makes them vulnerable to manipulation. A recent example of the consequences of both a population's information dependence and media compliance with official deception can be found in the selling of the disastrous Second Gulf War. By implanting a stereotyped picture of the threat supposedly posed by Iraq in the minds of the citizens, the Bush administration was able to gain acceptance of the defense doctrine, called preemption.

Keywords: foreign policy; localism; public opinion; thought collectives; stylization; stereotypes; domain knowledge; Second Gulf War; preemption

Chapter.  7221 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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