University of North Texas
” Audience Costs and the Media ”
Date:Monday, 3 April 12.30
As is clearly shown by the current Ukraine-Russian war, it is still important to understand the causes of international war, and the audience cost theory can contribute to such an understanding. It expects that states endowed with large audience costs prevail in international crisis bargaining. Nonetheless, evidence in support of audience costs remains mixed suggesting the need for a new context within which to “look for audience costs.” I propose that one such context is the media. I argue that the magnitude of audience costs gets larger when the media frames backing down by a leader after escalating an international crisis as undermining a country’s credibility or proving his/her incompetency. This study also examines whether the media’s negative framing overrides a leader’s justification for backing down or vice versa. I test this expectation with a modified version of the survey experiment by Tomz (2007) and Levendusky and Horowitz (2012) in the United States (N=1601). The result suggests that the media’s negative framing increases audience costs, but only after the public receives justification from a leader. The current study thus implies that the sequence of information matters for studies on audience costs.
Makito Takei is currently completing a Ph.D. in political science at the University of North Texas. His research focuses on the causes of war and peace, audience costs, reputation, and alliances. He has a forthcoming article in Foreign Policy Analysis titled, “Backing Out but Backing In Audience Costs? A Replication of Levy et al. (2015).”
*GE-250/1 points will be given.