In a democracy, the voice of the people (“vox populi”) is supposed to be the voice of God (“vox dei”). In the United States, leaders are supposed to rely on the consent of the governed. Yet, within the realm of foreign policy, the popular will is not being reflected in the views of elected leaders and experts. Although public opinion can be capricious and grand strategies must be developed to withstand changing sentiments, a fundamental premise of this project is that policymakers must be sensitive and responsive to the wishes of their constituents.

This project seeks to (1) illustrate the chasm which exists between the interests and concerns of foreign policy elites and those of ordinary citizens, and (2) identify the reasons why Americans are increasingly disenfranchised from foreign policy decisions being made in Washington.

View the 2018 and 2019 reports to see our earlier work on this topic.

In The News

The end of the road for American exceptionalism Why is the NDAA Trying to Keep Us in Afghanistan? | Opinion
We Should Be Debating How To Reduce the Pentagon Budget Evidence demands America end the Afghan war and withdraw now Nuclear War with North Korea Shouldn’t Be an Option Watching American exceptionalism die in my Cleveland hometown Are Trump and Biden truly anti-war candidates? Americans' dwindling belief in American exceptionalism Belief In 'American Exceptionalism' PLUMMETS As Young People Reject Endless Wars HOW DO AMERICANS WANT TO ENGAGE THE WORLD? The Biden administration can both look inward and provide leadership on the global stage The slow US retreat from Afghanistan There Isn’t A Military Solution to North Korea (And The American Public Agrees)

This annual survey is part of Independent America, a three-year research project led out by EGF senior fellow Mark Hannah, which seeks to explore how U.S. foreign policy could better be tailored to new global realities and to the preferences of American voters.