Description : Building on and reaching beyond themes in the work of Philip Converse, one of the pioneers in the study of public opinion, Studies in Public Opinion brings together a group of leading American and European social scientists to explore a number of new factors, with a particular emphasis on the structure of political choices. In twelve chapters that reflect different perspectives on how people form political opinions and how these opinions are manipulated, this book offers an unparalleled view of the state-of-the-art research on these important questions as it has developed on two continents.
Description : Examines the ways in which public opinion affects public policy via the news media. Draws together theory and original research concerning the role of the press in shaping public policy.
Description : In a rigorous critique of public opinion polling in the U.S., George F. Bishop makes the case that a lot of what passes as "public opinion" in mass media today is an illusion, an artifact of measurement created by vague or misleading survey questions presented to respondents who typically construct their opinions on the spot. Using evidence from a wide variety of data sources, Bishop shows that widespread public ignorance and poorly informed opinions are the norm rather than definitive public opinion on key political, social, and cultural issues of the day. The Illusion of Public Opinion presents a number of cautionary tales about how American public opinion has supposedly changed since 9/11, amplified by additional examples on other occasions drawn from the American National Election Studies. Bishop's analysis of the pitfalls of asking survey questions and interpreting poll results leads the reader to a more skeptical appreciation of the art and science of public opinion polling as it is practiced today.
Description : The way we are governed is no longer decided on a purely national level. This book systematically explores the attitudes of European publics to this internationalization of governance. Trends and sources of support for European integration are examined. Are positive attitudes due to hand-outs from Brussels, or to the economic benefits of the single market? What is the role of class, of education, and of leadership? Is there a European identity and a basic level of intra-European trust? How do problems of subsidiarity and of democratic deficit affect legitimacy and how do all of these issues relate to the role of the nation-state? Among other issues, the analysis also looks at enlargement, at EFTA, at Central and Eastern Europe and at attitudes to NATO both before and after 1989. The problems are examined from the different perspectives of integration theory, of international relations, and of comparative politics and a final chapter spells out the implications for the future of European governance. Series description This set of five volumes is an exhaustive study of beliefs in government in post-war Europe. Based upon an extensive collection of survey evidence, the results challenge widely argued theories of mass opinion, and much scholarly writing about citizen attitudes towards government and politics. The series arises from a research project sponsored by the European Science Foundation. Reviews of the series: `The quality of the empirical analysis is consistently high...[an] important collection of empirical studies addressing the debate about the crisis of representation" in Europe.' Journal of Public Policy `These volumes contain the work of many of the most important scholars in the field of public opinion in Europe today...These five volumes represent a major contribution to comparative politics, especially the study of mass politics. The chapters provide a wealth of information about public opinion in contemporary Europe and the relationship between state and society...The volumes clearly will be read by all students of European politics...' Times Educational Supplement `The Beliefs in Government series is a monumental achievement. It tells us at least everything we want to know about the structure of European public opinion'. The Good Society Reviews of Public Opinion and Internationalized Governance `a tremendously integrated piece of work, reflecting genuine collaboration on the part ofthe editors and the contributors... This book gives an insight into the legitimacy of a whole host of integrative processes and integration outcomes, and as a result deserves to find its way onto appropriate academic reading lists....a fascinating and sobering read'. Times Higher Educational Supplement `an important contribution to the current debates, both political and scholarly...certainly the most ambitious and comprehensive study to date of this range of problems, and their findingswill have to be taken into account by all serious students of European integration'. Political Studies"
Description : Public opinion - is it a simple aggregation of individual views, or is it some kind of collective-level, emergent product of debate? What is the role of public opinion in popular government? How do the mass media shape public opinion or link it with governmental decision-making? This book explores such questions by tracing the historical development and application of the concept of public opinion.
Description : Twenty-four news networks, a plethora of newspapers and magazines, vibrant news-talk radio, and the ubiquitous Internet highlight our society as information-driven. With such a steady stream of hard facts mixed with publicised opinions, the mainstream population has an opinion on everything. Most anyone seems itching to argue their side of an issue, making once private beliefs fodder for general consumption. A staple of any medium's content is a regular public opinion poll on whatever hot topic strikes the editor's fancy. From the significant to the mundane, public opinion permeates society. Accordingly, politicians have taken note of these opinions and adopted stands and values that put them in tune with public sentiment. An understanding of the nature of public opinion, therefore, is paramount in today's world. This book assembles and presents a carefully chosen bibliography on public opinion in its many forms. The collection of references makes for a valuable resource in studying and researching the critical issue of public opinion. Easy access to these pieces of literature are then provided with author, title, and subject indexes.
Description : What motivates us to change our opinions during times of political protest and social unrest? To investigate this question, Taeku Lee's smartly argued book looks to the critical struggle over the moral principles, group interests, and racial animosities that defined public support for racial policies during the civil rights movement, from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s. Challenging the conventional view that public opinion is shaped by elites, Lee crafts an alternate account of the geographic, institutional, historical, and issue-specific contexts that form our political views. He finds that grassroots organizations and local protests of ordinary people pushed demands for social change into the consciousness of the general public. From there, Lee argues, these demands entered the policy agendas of political elites. Evidence from multiple sources including survey data, media coverage, historical accounts, and presidential archives animate his argument. Ultimately, Mobilizing Public Opinion is a timely, cautionary tale about how we view public opinion and a compelling testament to the potential power of ordinary citizens.
Description : The importance of polling public opinion is widely recognized. This work examines the impact that polls have on the thoughts and behaviour of the public. It considers the power of public opinion polls as an element of mass persuasion in media stories, advertising, and government policy.
Description : A survey text for undergraduate courses, this volume examines the history, meaning, and mechanics of public opinion, including its use in communicating with and persuading the public, and discusses the five major theories for understanding public opinion. The chapters are carefully constructed so as to introduce terms and concepts to the reader unfamiliar with the field. Recognizing that public opinion is an increasingly interdisciplinary field, this volume draws together authors from diverse fields, principally political science and communication studies.
Description : Public opinion is one of the most elusive and complex concepts in democratic theory, and we do not fully understand its role in the political process. Reading Public Opinion offers one provocative approach for understanding how public opinion fits into the empirical world of politics. In fact, Susan Herbst finds that public opinion, surprisingly, has little to do with the mass public in many instances. Herbst draws on ideas from political science, sociology, and psychology to explore how three sets of political participants—legislative staffers, political activists, and journalists—actually evaluate and assess public opinion. She concludes that many political actors reject "the voice of the people" as uninformed and nebulous, relying instead on interest groups and the media for representations of public opinion. Her important and original book forces us to rethink our assumptions about the meaning and place of public opinion in the realm of contemporary democratic politics.