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Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy

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Volume 23, Issue 3


Volume 17 (2011)

Volume 4 (1996)

Volume 3 (1995)

Volume 2 (1994)

Volume 1 (1993)

International Adjudication and Public Opinion in Territorial Disputes: Evidence from a Survey Experiment Using Amazon Mechanical Turk

Florian Justwan
  • Corresponding author
  • University of Idaho, Department of Politics and Philosophy, 875 Perimeter Drive, MS 3165, Moscow, Idaho 83843, USA
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/ Sarah K. Fisher
Published Online: 2017-08-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/peps-2017-0003


This article explores the effects of international adjudication on individual-level attitudes in territorial disputes. In particular, we investigate the micro-foundations for the argument that international court rulings provide political cover for governments settling disputes through unpopular territorial concessions. In an online survey conducted for this project, 494 Indian respondents were confronted with a fictitious foreign policy scenario. A randomized experiment embedded in the survey provides four major findings. First, international adjudication makes citizens more willing to support concessions in border disputes. Second, international courts influence the perceived fairness of comprosmise solutions. Third, legal conflict management mediates the emotional fallout of territorial concessions. Finally, we do not find any evidence for the claim that international adjudication reduces individual-level concerns over commitment problems. By focusing on individual-level data, this article provides an important contribution to the literature on international conflict management.

Keywords: Territorial disputes; conflict management; public opinion; survey experiment; political cover


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About the article

Published Online: 2017-08-08

Citation Information: Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, Volume 23, Issue 3, 20170003, ISSN (Online) 1554-8597, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/peps-2017-0003.

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