How Citizens Respond to Combat Casualties

Kriner, Douglas L.; Shen, Francis X.
December 2012
Public Opinion Quarterly;Dec2012, Vol. 76 Issue 4, p761
Academic Journal
Scholars have long analyzed the influence of combat casualties on public support for war. However, the mechanisms through which casualties—particularly local casualties—affect wartime opinion formation have received much less attention. We employ a novel survey experiment to test three mechanisms that might explain previously observed cleavages in war support between residents of high- and low-casualty communities. We find that subjects who read a news story concerning a casualty from their home state were significantly more likely to oppose the war in Afghanistan than were subjects who read an identically worded news story in which the fallen soldier was not identified as being from the respondent’s home state. Moreover, this difference emerged regardless of whether the story followed the coverage patterns and emphasis typical of national or local media reporting. We conclude that the local connections triggered by learning of a home-state casualty, not the emotionally charged nature of local media reporting, is most responsible for generating opinion cleavages observed in previous research.


Related Articles

  • Healing from violence: An action research project among survivors of Gukurahundi, Zimbabwe. Ngwenya, Dumisani; Harris, Geoff // Peace & Conflict Review;2015, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1 

    Between 1983 and 1987, an estimated 20 000 people from Matebeleland and parts of Midlands Province in Zimbabwe were killed by Zimbabwean government forces in an operation code named Gukurahundi. Since that time no official apology, justice, reparations or any form of healing process has been...

  • MORALE.  // America;1/31/1942, Vol. 66 Issue 17, p463 

    The article reflects on the issue of morale in the individual and in the nation. It states that morale is the courage of the kind that never gives up, but grows stronger when disaster threatens. According to the article, the morale in the nation is built on morale in the individual. It relates...

  • Gender Difference in American Public Opinion on the Use of Military Force, 1982-2013. EICHENBERG, RICHARD C. // International Studies Quarterly;Mar2016, Vol. 60 Issue 1, p138 

    Recent scholarship indicates that gender correlates strongly with Americans' attitudes toward the use of military force. However, most of its evidence derives from the study of major wars, and the field needs more historical research to evaluate the evolution of gender difference over time. I...

  • The Pangs of War and Leadership. Conde, Carlos D. // Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine;Oct2012, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p5 

    The article reflects the author's views on the sacrifices of American youth soldiers in Afghanistan war. It discusses U.S. world mission of spreading liberty and democracy. It highlights the number of U.S troops in Afghanistan and the expense incurred on war. The nebulous policies of U.S....

  • Children in Central America: Victims of War. Ronstrom, Anitha // Child Welfare;Mar/Apr89, Vol. 68 Issue 2, p145 

    There are armed conflicts in about 50 countries today; more than half of their victims are children. Although research and assessment are useful in establishing the physical and psychological damage that armed conflicts do to children, immediate action is vital to deal with the children's most...

  • The Social Contagion Model: Exploring the Role of Public Opinion on the Diffusion of Antismoking Legislation across the American States. Pacheco, Julianna // Journal of Politics;Jan2012, Vol. 74 Issue 1, p187 

    Scholars have offered two primary explanations for the influence that neighboring states have on policy diffusion: state officials learn by observing the outcomes of policies and states seek an economic advantage over other states. Both models contend that decision making occurs laterally as...

  • Healing child soldiers. Humphreys, Gary // Bulletin of the World Health Organization;May2009, Vol. 87 Issue 5, p330 

    The article discusses so-called child soldiers who are used worldwide in armed combat and associated personal damages that require repair. It notes that child soldiering persists despite United Nations prohibitions. It speaks of physical and psychological consequences inflicted upon the...

  • Mine. GWYNN, TRISH // War, Literature & the Arts: An International Journal of the Huma;2014, Vol. 26, p1 

    An essay about the impact of war on families is presented. It deals with a mother's experience of having her children enlisting for military service and of witnessing the death of the children of other mothers because of the war. It also discusses the difficulty in finding the words to describe...

  • Can war be just?  // Reform Magazine;Feb2014, p20 

    The article offers insights from several executives related to war. Among the individuals who have give their perspectives include former Methodist Conference president Inderjit Bhogal, United Reformed Church chaplain Clare Callanan, and retired United Reformed Church minister Kim Fabricius....


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics