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Conrad in Political Behavior

September 18, 2017

More timely research, as Professor Courtenay Conrad's paper "Threat Perception and American Support for Torture" has just been published in Political Behavior (FirstView). Congratulations to Prof. Conrad and her co-authors!

The paper presents theoretical and empirical evidence about when Americans support their government's use of torture. The authors argue that threat perception is a key driver of this behavior, and present data from a nationally representative survey experiment to support this claim. The results how that Americans are much more likely to support government torture when directed at people they perceive as threatening: those with Arabic names, and those who are alleged to have committed terrorism. These results suggest that public opinion, which is often highly maleable, is not a reliable bulwark against torture.