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IR scholars oppose military assistance in Ukraine, military aid to Egypt

A snap poll of 950 international relations (IR) scholars at U.S. universities finds that IR scholars oppose sending military assistance to Ukraine.

The poll, taken May 18-20, was conducted by the Teaching, Research and International Policy (TRIP) Project based at William & Mary's Institute for the Theory & Practice of International Relations. It surveys all faculty members employed at a U.S. university in a political science department or policy school who teach or conduct research on issues that cross international borders.

The most recent survey also found IR scholars overwhelmingly oppose deploying NATO troops to Ukraine even if invited by the Ukrainian government. IR scholars also favor decreasing military aid to Egypt, but expect that aid to continue at current levels. Most believe that the president, not Congress, has more control over decisions about military aid to Egypt.

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 Key results:

  • IR scholars oppose (59 percent) providing arms and other military supplies to the Ukrainian government and are against (72 percent) sending NATO troops to Ukraine even if invited by the Ukrainian government.
  • In contrast, scholars are divided on NATO membership for Ukraine. Forty-four percent favor initiating a NATO membership plan for Ukraine within at least the next decade, but 49 percent are opposed.
  • Scholars do not believe that the numerous crises around the world have hampered U.S. efforts to facilitate a Middle East peace agreement.
  • A majority (61 percent) of IR scholars support the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement and expect it to be good for the U.S. economy.
  • Twenty years after NAFTA, 80 percent of IR scholars view the agreement as good for the U.S. economy, and 71 percent believe that the agreement has been good for the Mexican economy. This contrasts with the U.S. public. According to a recent poll by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Americans are divided over NAFTA’s effects on the U.S. economy, but most see it as good for the Mexican economy.

Some of the survey's results have been published on ForeignPolicy.com. The full report can be downloaded here: http://www.wm.edu/offices/itpir/trip/snap-polls/index.php.

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This survey is the second in a series of “snap polls” conducted by the Teaching, Research & International Policy (TRIP) Project at William & Mary with the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

The TRIP Project fields snap polls several times a year in an effort to provide real-time information on expert views of emerging foreign policy issues and during international crises.

“When the administration puts forward a tax policy proposal, economists are surveyed and asked about the likely impact on economic growth. When Congress is debating legislation to address global warming, climate scientists are surveyed and their opinions have an impact on the public debate,” explained Co-Principal Investigator Michael Tierney. “The TRIP snap polls provide a similar ‘wisdom of expert crowds,’” he said.

Co-Principal Investigator Susan Peterson added, “The response to our first snap poll in February was extremely encouraging. We are constantly learning from respondents and readers about how to improve the format and substance of these polls.”

The results of TRIP’s first snap poll were published on ForeignPolicy.com and discussed in The Washington Post, Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish, The Huffington Post, The Chicago Sun Times, and a variety of blogs by IR scholars.

This second snap poll was sent to 2,882 IR scholars across the nation and received responses from 950 individuals. The response rate is approximately 33 percent, and the margin of error for the poll is +/-2.6 percent.

To date, TRIP has focused on trends in IR teaching, scholarship, and disciplinary norms through a periodic survey of IR scholars. The project also is building the world’s largest, systematically coded database of IR articles from peer-reviewed journals. The TRIP Project is best known for its “Inside the Ivory Tower” rankings of graduate and undergraduate programs in IR published in Foreign Policy and for a recent article on the “gender citation gap” published in the journal International Organization.

Along with Peterson and Tierney, the other principal investigators on the TRIP Project are: Daniel Maliniak, Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, San Diego, and Ryan Powers, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.