"Does public opinion matter in international conflict resolution or does national foreign policy remain independent of public opinion and the media? International Public Opinion and the Bosnia Crisis examines--through U.S., Canadian, and European case studies--how public reaction impacted democratic governments' response to the ethnic and religious conflict in Bosnia, 1991-1997. Each case study offers an overview of the national media coverage and public reaction to the war in the former Yugoslavia, and examines the links between public opinion and political and military intervention in Bosnia. The result is a comprehensive evaluation of the complex relationship between public opinion, media coverage, and foreign policy decision-making."
In this highly original volume, Richard Sobel and Eric Shiraev advance research and theory in the study of public opinion and foreign policy. International Public Opinion and the Bosnia Crisis is unique in that it tracks a single foreign policy crisis across different countries. Following Ole Holsti's apt advice, the contributors use cross-national data and other evidence to look at the extent to which public opinion influenced foreign policy in a critical case. Editors Sobel and Shiraev offer a necessarily complex theoretical framework, befitting the complexities of the different forms of contemporary democratic politics and the foreign policies that have to be wrestled with, which they, their contributors, and others of us will want to debate, criticize, and build upon or alter. In doing this we can attempt both to advance political science theory and to improve our understanding of real-world politics and, ideally, to provide guidance as nations individually and interactively confront new crises and wars.--Robert Y. Shapiro, Columbia University