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    "According to U.S. intelligenc..., 2005-11-18 14:26:29 | Main | PRESIDENT SADDAM ((HUSSEIN)) MAY HAVE POSSIBLY USED WHITE PHOSPHOROUS (WP) CHEMICAL WEAPONS..., 2005-11-22 17:37:55

    who influences foreign policy:

    from the American Political Science Review, 2/05, in which the thorough application of four statistical models to the available data reveals the obvious:

    A clear message from all four models is that business is a consistently effective influence on policy makers...

    ...experts' impact is [either] extremely quick, fully embodied in policy makers' previously measured preferences, or (perhaps more plausibly) that the expressed preferences of experts are largely effects rather than causes of policy makers' stands.

    ...In none of the 16 regression analyses, applying our four models to four sets of decision makers, was the public opinion coefficient dominant over those of the elite actors. ... The negative coefficients for public opinion in the time series analysis, if taken seriously, actually indicate that - control for the past views of government and nongovernmental elites - officials tend perversely to move away from public opinion. A more plausible interpretation ... however, is that the public simply has no effect at all.

    ...Labor, despite its limited contemporaneous influence, is apparently able - perhaps owing to its active presence in states and localities - to apply delayed pressure on government officials, especially House members, who may be particularly sensitive to organized pressure...

    ...the real public influence might be masked by the inclusion in the analysis of labor leaders, whom we found to have a moderate influence on policy makers and whose preferences were fairly strongly correlated with those of the public (r = .82)... we dropped the labor variable ... The proportion of variance accounted for was virtually the same as in earlier analyses, indicating that the public and labor can indeed be substituted for each other without losing much predictive power. ... even with these rather generous - and somewhat implausible-causal assumptions...the estimated influence of public opinion on the preferences of government officials, at best, modest. ... None of the four models indicated any clearly significant public influence on the administration...

    ...estimates of public impact remained modest even for the very highest-salience issues, where - according to all four models - the estimated impact of both business and experts remained substantially greater than that of the public.

    In general, public opinion takes a back seat to business and experts. These results challenge research that has suggested a generally strong public impact on foreign policy....

    In our analyses, a very strong bivariate relationship between public opinion and the preferences of policy makers crumbled away almost completely when we included data on organized interests and experts in multivariate regressions. To be sure, foreign policy may be quite different from domestic, but we cannot be certain of this until comparable research is conducted that includes relevant variables and potentially complex causal dynamics.

    Comparatively muted influence by the mass public might intially please classical realist critics of citizen input ... Yet those same critics would want to see policy makers rise above the politics of organized interest groups in order to pursue the "national interest"... Competing political interests continue to fight over the national interest, and business often wins that competition.

    Hence you can understand, for example, how speaking out against the war might cripple the war effort and the morale of the troops, as might be compared to the steady reduction of their pay and benefits, keeping them in conflict zones through multiple tours without adequate resources, and the application of illegal force under circumstances opposed by both the mass and informed [e.g.] public.

:: posted by buermann @ 2005-11-21 16:06:34 CST | link

      Goodbye, Republic.

    posted by la @ 2005-11-22 16:25:08 | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

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