There is little scholarly literature regarding public opinion on the domestic deployment of the military. This is due to the fact that it is a common understanding that the military’s primary goal is to handle, “external security through the threat and practice of war” (Kraska 2007, 1). It is common to see the domestic deployment of the military in authoritarian regimes, often in order to ensure domestic order. But what about democratic regimes? What effect does domestic deployment of the military have on public opinion? I hypothesize that if a democratic regime uses military presence in public spaces, then public opinion of the regime will be unfavorable. I conducted a survey experiment through Amazon’s platform MTurk by creating four vignettes for participants to read and then answer thirteen (13) brief questions. I sent a survey to 297 U.S. participants and then, in a second wave, to 197 Indian participants. Although my results ultimately did not allow me to reject my null hypothesis, I still uncovered intriguing information regarding feelings towards protective personnel in the case of domestic deployment. I discovered that the participants’ opinions of the environment from the treatment vignettes are statistically significant in the U.S., but not in India. This aligns with the literature regarding feelings and levels of trust towards protective personnel. This could have future implications regarding research on public opinion of the military due to the fact that little to no previous research has been done thus far.
Mandel, Rachel Lauren, "Safe or Scared: Military Presence in Public Spaces and Public Opinion of the Regime" (2019). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 8381.
Comparative Politics | Models and Methods | Political Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences
public opinion, government, military, public space
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2019 Rachel Lauren Mandel