Under what circumstances will the public support military intervention in other countries? Recent answers have focused on the importance of identity and attachment to one’s nation to explain variation in public support. We posit that some segments of the public are more willing than others to support military action even when there is perceived risk due to a psychological attachment to veterans. We distinguish kinship, geographic, and psychological forms of propinquity and argue that the psychological attachment of an individual to a group drives disparate attitudes about military force when their group is threatened. Using a unique national data set, we examine public attitudes across a range of hypothetical and actual military interventions and find that psychological attachment, measured using identity fusion, helps to explain the pattern of support across interventions. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our findings on the use of force literature.
- identity fusion
- military intervention
- public opinion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science