Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type

Chapman access only poster or presentation

Publication Date

Spring 5-14-2015

Faculty Advisor(s)

David Shafie


As the United States continues to be the dominant power on the global stage, there is an expectation to address the responsibilities that come with such great power. When it comes to potential humanitarian or military interventions, the country often comes up against the political and legal realities of domestic politics. The political elites must then muster the domestic political will necessary to engage in military action to prevent or thwart humanitarian crises. Both domestic and international security, as well as ending the perpetration of human rights, requires the state’s use of military force. The importance of public support for military and humanitarian intervention is, therefore, essential for the decisions made by policy elites, Congress, and the President. This paper examines public opinion in regard to both humanitarian and military interventions in an attempt to identify where differences in the public’s understanding diverge. Using survey data on American public opinion and foreign policy attitudes for The Chicago Council on Global Affairs in June 2010, I argue that people who have stronger isolationist values are negatively associated with higher levels of support for both humanitarian and military interventions. Conversely, people who maintain a stronger internationalist stance are positively associated with higher levels of support for both humanitarian and military interventions. Moreover, understanding support for humanitarian and military intervention is particularly important for members of Congress who seem to pay attention to level of public support for using force when they make decisions about supporting or opposing humanitarian and military interventions.


Presented at the Spring 2015 Student Research Day at Chapman University.

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