What the Latest Techniques Can Tell us About How Australians View our Major Foreign Policy Challenges

The 2008 US Presidential Election introduced the general public to many of the innovative techniques which political scientists and others have developed to analyse survey data, producing increasingly accurate forecasts and policy recommendations. Less well known is that most of these techniques have also been applied successfully to questions of US public opinion and foreign policy. Thanks to the work of organizations such as the Australian Election Study and the Lowy Institute, we are rich in data on Australian attitudes to many questions on foreign affairs, but Australia suffers from a shortage of analysts trained to get the most out of this data. In this talk, I apply many of these techniques in an Australian context to shed light on questions of interest in Australia and beyond casualty sensitivity, relations with the United States and perceptions of China as a security threat. In this talk I will briefly introduce both the technique and more importantly the substantive conclusions it allows scholars to draw.

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