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War-time military service can affect partisan preferences

Getmansky, Anna ORCID: 0000-0002-0978-7095 and Weiss, Chagai M. (2022) War-time military service can affect partisan preferences. Comparative Political Studies. ISSN 0010-4140

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Identification Number: 10.1177/00104140221141837


Does war-time military service affect partisan preferences? We argue that military service increases the salience and potential costs of war. Therefore, soldiers who serve during mismanaged wars will associate the ruling party with incompetence and be less likely to support the ruling party in the future. To test our argument, we analyze almost 50 years of Israel National Election Studies. Employing a regression discontinuity design, we show that compared with respondents who were too young to serve in the Yom Kippur war, respondents just old enough to serve report lower support for the Labor party well after the war ended. This effect is likely driven by soldiers’ unwillingness to support a party they associate with security incompetence. We further show that the negative effect of military service does not materialize in well-managed wars, contributing to the literature on the political consequences of war and attitude formation.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2022 15:24
Last Modified: 17 May 2024 06:39

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