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Foreign Policy, Inc.Privatizing America's National Interest$
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Lawrence Davidson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125244

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125244.001.0001

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The Popular Disregard for Foreign Policy

The Popular Disregard for Foreign Policy

Chapter:
(p.4) (p.5) 1 The Popular Disregard for Foreign Policy
Source:
Foreign Policy, Inc.
Author(s):

Lawrence Davidson

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813125244.003.0002

Studies have shown that most Americans pay little attention to international affairs and do so only when the issues begin to impinge on their lives. Because of this naturally occurring localism, many Americans form their opinions on foreign policy based on information they get from so-called pundits and from the stylized news provided by media. However, this “out of sight, out of mind” attitude gives Americans a false sense of security and makes them vulnerable to manipulation. A recent example of the consequences of both a population's information dependence and media compliance with official deception can be found in the selling of the disastrous Second Gulf War. By implanting a stereotyped picture of the threat supposedly posed by Iraq in the minds of the citizens, the Bush administration was able to gain acceptance of the defense doctrine, called preemption.

Keywords:   foreign policy, localism, public opinion, thought collectives, stylization, stereotypes, domain knowledge, Second Gulf War, preemption

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