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Title Guns to Butter: Economic Concerns and Support for Militarization in Russia
Post date 05/26/2019
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale Studies that have focused on economic basis of electoral behavior typically focus on impact of perception of country’s economic situation on incumbent support or domestic policy preferences. However, few such studies focus on the foreign policy preferences in relationship to subjective economic wellbeing. This study aims to fill in this gap by analyzing the relationship between perception of the economic situation and support for Russia's assertive foreign policy on the mass level. The expectation is that respondents’ higher concerns about economic well-being shall be decreasing the salience of Russia’s military adventures. Experimental survey design allows to address the causality direction, which is harder to disentangle in case of regular surveys.
C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested? Scholars of Russia’s foreign policy often wonder whether the darkening economic reality in Russia (“the fridge”) will overweight the propaganda-fueled patriotic euphoria and support for Russia’s assertive military action abroad (“the television”). However, few quantitative studies tried to address this question so far. This study focuses on the interplay between the economic fears and support for Russia’s military action abroad. To address possible causal inference problems with my argument I will run an experimental survey in Russia to measure differences in opinion between control respondents and treatment respondents who received various economic fear stimuli. This analysis will evaluate whether economic fear is pervasive enough to shift support or salience of Russia’s military action abroad.
C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? * I will work with the Center for Independent Social Research (CISR), a reputable survey firm based in Russia with long experience of launching internet surveys in Russia. I will begin with two pilot experimental surveys of 300 respondents representative to the population in Russia across Russian cities and socio- demographic profile. And then run a full survey of 900 respondents representative to Russia’s general population. Respondents are surveyed in front of their computers in their place of residence. For the internet survey the potential respondents will be randomly selected from the existing CISR Online panel. During the recruitment process the new panelists are informed and they orally agree to participate in the market research surveys based on voluntary basis come and go. During the survey the participants will be completing a survey and reading treatment material (a newspaper excerpt) of total duration of approximately 15 minutes.
C4 Country Russia
C5 Scale (# of Units) 400 respondents per two surveys and a final survey of 1,200 respondents
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? No
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? Yes
C8 IRB Number 1429486-1
C9 Date of IRB Approval 05/07/2019
C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party? Researchers
C11 Did any of the research team receive remuneration from the implementing agency for taking part in this research? No
C12 If relevant, is there an advance agreement with the implementation group that all results can be published? No
C13 JEL Classification(s) not provided by authors