Mapping the Boundaries of Elite Cues: How Elites Shape Mass Opinion Across International Issues

  title={Mapping the Boundaries of Elite Cues: How Elites Shape Mass Opinion Across International Issues},
  author={Alexandra Guisinger and Elizabeth N. Saunders},
  journal={International Studies Quarterly},
When and how do elite messages shape mass opinion on international issues? A largely divided literature has focused on two components of elite cues — information and partisan attribution — as rival alternatives. We argue instead for an interplay of influence that depends on the characteristics of mass opinion itself: distance from expert opinion and the degree of partisan polarization. Where the divide in partisan opinion is limited, information effects should outweigh attribution effects, but… Expand

Figures from this paper

Elite cueing and attitudes towards trade agreements: the case of TTIP
Abstract How does elite communication affect citizens’ attitudes towards trade agreements? Building on a growing literature on context factors influencing public opinion about trade and tradeExpand
American Perspectives and Blind Spots on World Politics
  • J. Colgan
  • Political Science
  • Journal of Global Security Studies
  • 2019
Scholars of international relations (IR) from the United States, like any country, view the world with particular perspectives and beliefs that shape their perceptions, judgments, and worldviews.Expand
How Elite Partisan Cues Affect International Organization Legitimacy
While domestic political parties engage in growing contestation over international organizations (IOs), we know little about the effects of party cues on citizen perceptions of IO legitimacy. ThisExpand
Partisan Cues and Opinion Formation on Foreign Policy
How does the extension of party conflict to a foreign policy issue affect the ability of Americans to form an opinion about the issue? We test this using elite references and longitudinal publicExpand
Elite Influence on Attitudes About Gender Egalitarianism: Evidence from a Population-Based Survey Experiment
Although various explanations have been proposed in regard to the persistency of patriarchal attitudes and gendered outcomes in political processes, much of the scholarly attention has focused onExpand
A Bottom-Up Theory of Public Opinion about Foreign Policy
If public opinion about foreign policy is such an elite-driven process, why does the public often disagree with what elites have to say? We argue here that elite cue-taking models in InternationalExpand
Trading Arguments: Opinion Updating in the Context of International Trade Agreements
Public opinion can often become a key challenge to international cooperation efforts. In their attempt to garner support for their position, stakeholders fight for the hearts and minds of theExpand
The role of societal cues in explaining attitudes toward international organizations: the least likely case of authoritarian contexts
ABSTRACT How strong are societal cues – understood as the linkage between heuristics present in society and the object of evaluation – compared to elite cues in influencing citizens’ attitudes towardExpand
Explaining elite perceptions of legitimacy in global governance
Elites are central in creating, operating, defending and contesting international organisations (IOs), but little research is available about their attitudes toward these bodies. To address this gap,Expand
Leaders, Advisers, and the Political Origins of Elite Support for War
As research on leaders matures, a next step is a better understanding of the advisers who surround them. This article explores the often-hidden politics of leader–adviser interactions, focusing onExpand


How Elite Partisan Polarization Affects Public Opinion Formation
Competition is a defining element of democracy. One of the most noteworthy events over the last quarter-century in U.S. politics is the change in the nature of elite party competition: The partiesExpand
Elite Cues and Citizen Disagreement with Expert Opinion
Though scholars have long been concerned about the quality of citizens’ political decision making, we still know little about why citizens disagree with the best-informed opinion in society, that ofExpand
War and the Inner Circle: Democratic Elites and the Politics of Using Force
Much of the literature on domestic politics and war assumes that open political debate, and especially the role of public opinion, is a key distinguishing feature of democracies in the internationalExpand
Through a Glass and Darkly: Attitudes Toward International Trade and the Curious Effects of Issue Framing
  • M. Hiscox
  • Economics
  • International Organization
  • 2006
Are most voters opposed to globalization? A growing body of empirical research, using data from available surveys of public opinion, suggests that antiglobalization sentiments are strong, especiallyExpand
When Backing Down Is the Right Decision: Partisanship, New Information, and Audience Costs
How do domestic political conditions shape when leaders get punished for backing down in international crises? We explore how three factors—the president’s partisanship, the reaction of other elites,Expand
Elite Influence on Public Opinion in an Informed Electorate
An enduring concern about democracies is that citizens conform too readily to the policy views of elites in their own parties, even to the point of ignoring other information about the policies inExpand
How Americans Think about Trade: Reconciling Conflicts among Money, Power, and Principles
Trade has again emerged as a controversial issue in America, yet we know little about the ideas that guide American thinking on these questions. By combining traditional survey methods withExpand
Elite Consensus as a Determinant of Alliance Cohesion: Why Public Opinion Hardly Matters for NATO-led Operations in Afghanistan
Despite the increasing popularity of fighting wars through multilateral coalitions, scholars have largely been silent on the question of how public opinion in member states affects alliance cohesion.Expand
Performing on Cue? The Formation of Public Opinion Toward War
The public’s inability to gain direct personal experience or information about American military operations means that individuals must rely on cues to form opinions about war. But in an environmentExpand
The Promise and Limits of Election Observers in Building Election Credibility
Scholars and practitioners posit that election observers (EOs) affect local beliefs about the credibility of elections. Although these effects have important implications for democratization, theyExpand