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Rally ’round the Flag: The Search for National Honor and Respect in Times of Crisis | Book Talk

November 15 — 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm

Yuval Feinstein will discuss his book, which examines the approval ratings of U.S. Presidents in response to a war or security crisis.

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This event is hosted by the Department of Sociology.

Feinstein’s book revisits the rally-round-the-flag phenomenon in the United States, which is characterized by a sudden and sharp increase in the public approval rating of the sitting US president in response to a war or security crisis. Feinstein examines both the conditions under which rally periods have emerged in the US and the processes that have generated these rallies to introduce a novel rally theory. Drawing on an original data set of conflicts covering 1950 to 2020 and survey data, Feinstein shows that the rally-round-the-flag effect is not an automatic public reaction to international conflicts. Rather, it is a rare event that emerges only under circumstances that lead most Americans to believe it is necessary to take military action to maintain or restore collective honor and gain the respect of other nations. He further attributes public opinion shifts during rally periods to nationalist emotions that people experience when they believe that the president’s actions effectively protect the nation’s honor and international prestige.

Yuval Feinstein is a Senior Lecturer of Sociology at the University of Haifa and a Visiting Associate Professor of Sociology at Harvard University. His research examines the ways ethnic and national identities affect people’s attitudes about peace and war, ethnic minorities, and other policy issues in settled and during crisis.


November 15
12:30 pm to 2:00 pm
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Sewell Social Sciences, room 8108
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
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Department of Sociology
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