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Do All Lives Have the Same Value? Support for International Military Interventions as a Function of Political System and Public Opinion of the Target States

Group Processes & Intergroup Relations
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1177/1368430211424919
  • Political Science


Article Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 15(3) 347 –362 © The Author(s) 2011 Reprints and permission: sagepub. DOI: 10.1177/1368430211424919 G P I R Group Processes & Intergroup Relations Article 424919 XXX10.1177/1368430211424919Falomir-Pichastor et al.Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 1University of Geneva, Switzerland 2University of Lausanne, Switzerland Corresponding author: Juan M. Falomir-Pichastor, University of Geneva, FPSE, Social Psychology, Bvd Pont d’Arve, 40; CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland Email: [email protected] Do all lives have the same value? Support for international military interventions as a function of political system and public opinion of target states Juan M. Falomir-Pichastor1, Andrea Pereira1, Christian Staerklé2 and Fabrizio Butera2 Abstract This research examined the support for international military interventions as a function of the political system and the public opinion of the target country. In two experiments, we informed participants about a possible military intervention by the international community towards a sovereign country whose government planned to use military force against a secessionist region. They were then asked whether they would support this intervention whilst being reminded that it would cause civilian deaths. The democratic or nondemocratic political system of the target country was experimentally manipulated, and the population support for its belligerent government policy was either assessed (Experiment 1) or manipulated (Experiment 2). Results showed greater support for the intervention when the target country was nondemocratic, as compared to the democratic and the control conditions, but only when its population supported the belligerent government policy. Support for the external intervention was low when the target country was democratic, irrespective of national public opinion. These findings provide support f

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