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Title Entrenched versus Shallow Norms in Foreign Policy: Evidence on the Chemical and Nuclear Weapons Taboos
Post date 07/22/2019
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale Prominent international relations scholars argue that the use of certain weapons – most notably weapons of mass destruction (WMD) like chemical and nuclear weapons — are taboo (Price 1995; 1997; Tannenwald 1999, 2008). However, recent research on the nuclear taboo (Press, Sagan, and Valentino 2013; Sagan and Valentino 2017; Pauly 2018), combined with rampant chemical weapons use in Syria and President Trump’s nuclear saber-rattling against North Korea, calls into question the strength of the nuclear and chemical “taboos.” We argue that there may be two types of norm-holders: sincere norm-holders that publicly and privately support a norm, and shallow norm-holders that publicly support a norm in order to avoid social sanction, but privately oppose it. Given that the two variants of this norm are observationally equivalent in traditional surveys, existing literature may overestimate the extent to which the public has internalized certain norms. In order to test this argument, we utilize a list experiment design, which is a technique used to estimate people’s opinions about chemical and nuclear weapons use.
C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested? We posit the following hypotheses. First, individuals are more likely to support nuclear/chemical weapons use when asked indirectly than directly. Second, peer and elite cues in support of nuclear/chemical weapons use will reduce the gap in support between direct and indirect question formats. We use univariate and multivariate regression to estimate support for nuclear/chemical weapons in direct question and list experimental formats.
C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? * To test our theory we propose a combined list-direct question survey experimental design (Blair and Imai 2012; Aronow, Coppock, Crawford, and Green 2015; Eady 2017). Specifically, we conduct two list experiments paralleling two direct questions. In the first list-direct question pair we investigate the nuclear weapons taboo (Study A). In the second pair we investigate the chemical weapons taboo (Study B).
C4 Country United States
C5 Scale (# of Units) About 4200
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? No
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? We are awaiting IRB approval. Our proposal is currently under IRB review
C8 IRB Number n/a
C9 Date of IRB Approval n/a
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? not provided by authors
C13 JEL Classification(s) not provided by authors