Replicating Findings Regarding Attitudes Towards the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in Five European Countries

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 08:48
Oral Presentation
Henrik ANDERSEN, University of Kaiserslautern, Germany
Christoph GIEHL, TU Kaiserslautern, Germany
This paper looks at determinants of attitudes towards the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan and compares findings between five European countries, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland. It replicates a 2015 study by Jedinger and Mader and focuses on the generalizability of their findings which were based solely on German public support for the mission.

They present an attitudinal theoretical approach based on Ajzen and Fishbein’s Theory of Planned Behavior for understanding public support or disapproval of military missions in general. From a random population survey conducted in Germany in 2010 they found generally weak direct effects of more diffuse security related predispositions on attitudes towards the German military’s involvement in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Attitudes towards the mission were most strongly predicted by specific beliefs about the prospects of the mission’s success.

We test a replication of the casual model using a structural equation modeling framework. In a first step, we attempt to replicate the model one-to-one using manifest indicators just as the previous authors did. Second, we expand the model to include latent constructs and measurement equality between countries. Our analysis of random population surveys conducted in five European countries thus touches on issues of replicability in terms of:

  1. temporal intervals between the replication of studies,
  2. country differences,
  3. methodological issues including latent constructs and measurement equality.

This paper provides grounds for discussing the issue of generalizability and the testing of ‘universal’ social theories as well as presents substantive findings regarding the explanation of public support for the ISAF mission in several European countries.