How are Foreign Policy Attitudes Structured? A Hierarchical Model

Jon Hurwitz, Mark Peffley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

524 Scopus citations


It has long been assumed that foreign-policy attitudes of the mass public are random, disorganized, and unconstrained if they exist at all. Further, foreign-policy thinking has not been found to be structured along standard ideological (liberal-conservative) lines, partisan lines, or class lines. We attempt to move the discussion from a question of whether foreign-policy attitudes are structured to a question of how they are structured. We propose and estimate (using a LISREL model) a hierarchically organized foreign-policy belief structure in which specific policy preferences are derived from postures (broad, abstract beliefs regarding appropriate general governmental strategies). These postures, in turn, are assumed to be constrained by a set of core values about the international community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1099-1120
Number of pages22
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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