"Getting to Yes: What Convinces the U.S. Public to Go to War?"
Overview: This piece is co-authored with Alex Yu-Ting Lin and explores how the public is motivated by symbolic goals to support armed conflict abroad. Despite repeated failed military interventions, U.S. opinion surveys continue to indicate strong pubic support for participating in potential conflicts. This is puzzling and we explain that persistent public support for intervention (after failure) is partially due to the mobilizing rhetoric used by U.S. leaders, including an emphasis on the symbolic value of using the military. We use a survey experiment of a representative sample of U.S. adults to show what types of rhetoric are most successful at building support for intervention and, crucially, which are most successful when respondents are presented with information that the intervention has a low likelihood of success. The results inform how scholars and policy makers understand public opinion and societal mobilization.