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Regular version of the site

Article

Эффект “rally around the flag”. Как и почему растет поддержка власти во время трагедий и международных конфликтов?

Numerous studies of support of national leaders indicate that the President's approval ratings increase substantially during international conflicts and tragedies. In such a way, the Falklands War greatly influenced the popularity of Margaret Thatcher. The Gulf War led to a significant increase in the public approval of George H.W. Bush and the terrorist attack of 9/11 was a push for greater support for George. W. Bush. A number of examples can be continued. The article analyzes the phenomenon of consolidation of the population around a national leader in times of crisis, called «rally around the flag». We systematize the literature on the subject and draw conclusions on a number of fundamental premises of the theory. Thus, the events for which we may experience this effect must meet the following criteria: relevance to society as a whole, the international level, the suddenness, the direct participation of the President in solving the problem and the existence of personified «other». The emergence of rally effect is closely connected with characteristics of media coverage of the issues and patriotism of the population. The article also notes that, despite the considerable scale, which this effect can reach (up to 35% of approval rating), the duration of its preservation is not so large (up to six months). It reduces the temptation for the authorities to provoke conflicts with the purpose of acquiring more public support.