International Actors as Critics of Domestic Freedoms
In this new paper, we look at the ability of external actors to impact the opinion of voters on the ground on the issue of democratization.
When outside actors criticize domestic rights and freedoms, do voters update their beliefs on rights and freedoms in predictable ways? We help address this important issue by arguing that messages coming from outsiders who condition resources on democracy, and who have expertise in democracy promotion, are more likely to change minds. We also argue that partisanship is a mediating variable when it comes to the impact of outside messages: partisan elites amplify or lessen the impact of outside messages. We offer evidence from a series of survey- experiments we deployed in Turkey. The theory and evidence identify a significant potential for the international community to impact voters in liberalizing countries directly, on the issue of domestic rights and freedoms.
The paper is avialble as a free download from the Working Paper series of the Social Science Research Network here