“The Politics of Strange Bedfellows: Enlisting the Military as Environmental Protector” with Marc Hetherington, Vanderbilt

Event time: 
Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - 12:00pm through 1:15pm
Institution for Social and Policy Studies (ISPS), Room A002
77 Prospect St.
New Haven, CT 06511
Marc J. Hetherington, Vanderbilt University
Event description: 


Abstract: We propose a novel approach to influencing public support for government action even when partisan elites are polarized on an issue. People trust and like some parts of government much more than others, and we argue that this trust and affection can serve as an important resource. Here, we look at the extent to which trust in the U.S. Military can be used as a tool for increasing support for climate change policy. Using a pair of nationally representative survey experiments, we demonstrate that people are much more apt to embrace environmental spending when cued about the strategic importance that the military attaches to climate change. A trusted and liked source can serve as an effective cue-giver, even when it takes an unexpected position on an issue. Further, our results suggest that the U.S. Military may be uniquely capable of enlisting public support for progressive global climate change policy.

Speaker: Marc Hetherington is Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. Marc is the author of three scholarly books, the most recent of which, Why Washington Won’t Work won the Alexander George Award from the International Society of Political Psychology, as the best book in the field of political psychology published in 2015. His second book, Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics co-authored with Jonathan Weiler, won the Philip Converse Award in 2016 from the Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior section of the APSA. Taken together, these two awards have led many to wonder what is wrong with his first book, Why Trust Matters. In 2004, Marc was awarded the Emerging Scholar Award from the Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior section of the American Political Science Association. He has published more than a dozen articles in a wide range of top scholarly journals and also won several college and university teaching awards.

Open to: 
General Public
Event type 
Seminar, Workshop