Deontological and consequentialist preferences towards arms exports : A comparative conjoint experiment in France and Germany

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European Journal of Political Research. Wiley. 2024, 63(2), pp. 705-728. ISSN 0304-4130. eISSN 1475-6765. Available under: doi: 10.1111/1475-6765.12617
Zusammenfassung

Despite fierce politicization in arms‐exporting democracies, we lack systematic research on mass public preferences on arms transfers. We propose that citizens either apply a deontologist (rejecting transfers categorically) or consequentialist (trading‐off economic, strategic and normative aspects) calculus of preference formation. Conducting population‐representative survey experiments () in Germany and France, two global top‐five major arms exporters, we find that 10–15 per cent of respondents follow deontologist considerations, a preference structure potentially relevant for all foreign policies involving the use of military force. Still, a majority shows differentiated preferences, giving largest weight to normative considerations, with assessments affected by moderating features (e.g., scenarios of just war). Principled rejection of arms trade and a large consequentialist weight for normative factors are more pronounced in Germany compared to France, indicating that public opinion might pose a stronger constraint for government policy in this country. Respondents' preferences match opinion polls on post‐Russian invasion Ukraine armament, indicating high external validity of our experiments.

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ISO 690RUDOLPH, Lukas, Markus FREITAG, Paul W. THURNER, 2024. Deontological and consequentialist preferences towards arms exports : A comparative conjoint experiment in France and Germany. In: European Journal of Political Research. Wiley. 2024, 63(2), pp. 705-728. ISSN 0304-4130. eISSN 1475-6765. Available under: doi: 10.1111/1475-6765.12617
BibTex
@article{Rudolph2024-05Deont-67816,
  year={2024},
  doi={10.1111/1475-6765.12617},
  title={Deontological and consequentialist preferences towards arms exports : A comparative conjoint experiment in France and Germany},
  number={2},
  volume={63},
  issn={0304-4130},
  journal={European Journal of Political Research},
  pages={705--728},
  author={Rudolph, Lukas and Freitag, Markus and Thurner, Paul W.}
}
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