chapter  4
34 Pages

Part II Opinion Leaders, Public Opinion, and American Foreign Policy 4 Public Opinion and Foreign Policy:

Many questions about the role of public opinion in foreign policy are at the center of persisting debates between the liberal-democratic and realist approaches to foreign a airs. Is public opinion a force for enlightenment-indeed, a necessary if not su cient condition for sound foreign policy-as celebrated by the Wilsonians and other liberals? ere is a long, liberal-democratic tradition, dating back at least to Kant and Bentham, that foreign policies of democracies are more peaceful, at least in part because the public can play a constructive role in constraining policy makers; only accountability to the public can restrain the war-making proclivities of leaders.1