The Liberal Script on Military Humanitarian Intervention and How Citizens around the World Support it. Results from a Comparative Survey in 24 Countries
The liberal script, as enshrined in international law, strongly supports the sovereignty of nation-states but allows for military intervention by the international community when human rights are violated in a country. In this article, we explore whether citizens support this idea and explain differences in citizen attitudes toward military intervention. We derive our hypotheses from the neo-institutionalist notion of the existence of a liberal world script and the modernisation theory of value change. Our analysis is based on PALS survey data from 24 countries. The results show that a majority of respondents support the notion that military intervention in another country is legitimate when human rights are violated. Differences in citizen attitudes toward military intervention can be better explained with reference to neo-institutionalist theory than with the hypotheses derived from modernisation theory.