Class, Ideology and National Identity: The Correlates of Public Opinion on Foreign Trade, Aid and Immigration

Milner, H. & Tingley, D. 2008. Political Science

What do publics in democracies believe about the extent of international engagement that their governments should pursue? We examine public opinion about international trade, immigration, and foreign aid in eight advanced industrial democracies to understand preferences about international engagement, or “internationalism.” We show first what views publics hold about engagement; that is, unlike other studies, considering all three issue areas we examine which groups support and oppose engagement. Then we explore what theories best explain which groups favor engagement by examining how economic theories of preferences and ideological ones, focusing on left-right and nationalist values, perform.