Public Opinion vis-à-vis ‘Western Wars’: A Case Study of the Gulf War, Bosnia and Kosovo
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Uniwersytet Warszawski
Publication date: 2020-06-25
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2015;51(3):99–122
After the end of Cold War rivalry, European and North American states repeatedly took part in military interventions abroad. Each time, the democratic governments of these states were obliged to try to convince their own societies about the need for engagement. The Gulf War, the Bosnian War, and the Kosovo War are examples of conflicts during which mass media and public opinion influenced political decisions. As the authors indicated, public opinion is rather restrained towards the use of force in international relations. Modern mass media, however, could in some cases enhance public support for military intervention by showing people cruelty of the war. Nevertheless, free media and democratic government generally make it definitely harder to make the decision on engagement in a military conflict. The reasons behind the rises and falls in public support for such engagement remain complex and difficult to explain by any trackable factors. The ongoing spread of social media around the world changes the mechanisms of conducting information warfare today.