Nonproliferation Information and Attitude Change: Evidence From South Korea

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Son, Sangyong; Park, Jong Hee

Issue Date
SAGE Publications
Journal of Conflict Resolution
© The Author(s) 2022.What explains the foreign policy gap between elites and the general public on nuclear proliferation? We investigate specific contexts in which experts nonproliferation information changes public attitudes toward nuclear weapons development using a novel attitude change experiment. By randomly assigning seven categories of nonproliferation information to pro-armament survey participants, we examine how different types of nonproliferation information affect pro-armament respondents opinions and behavioral choices. The results of our experiment demonstrate the enlightening effect of economic sanctions information. After learning about the economic costs and consequences of nuclear weapons development, pro-armament respondents substantially changed their opinion as well as behaviors toward nuclear proliferation. In comparison to economic sanctions information, other types of nonproliferation information (e.g. conditional military punishment, normative sanctions, nuclear technology sanctions, elite or public opposition to proliferation) have limited effects on pro-armament subjects attitude changes. These findings are the first to identify the relative explanatory powers of previous explanations for nuclear nonproliferation at the individual level.
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Dept. of Political of Political Sciences and International Relations (정치외교학부)Journal Papers (저널논문_정치외교학부)
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