Author ORCID Identifier

Thomas Jamieson

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Politics, Groups, and Identities


This paper examines how race affects attitudes towards conflict beyond the water’s edge. While prior literature largely assumes that all casualties affect voters’ attitudes similarly, we argue that attitudes toward casualties are importantly shaped by racial-group identities. More specifically, we argue that domestic responses to international events – namely American casualties in military conflict – are conditioned by individuals’ attitudes and biases toward the race of fallen soldiers. Using a novel survey experiment, we find that while people become more supportive of conflict when informed of any soldier’s death, support for escalating conflict only increases when the fallen soldiers have Pakistani and African American names. Our results suggest that people are more resistant to conflict when casualties of the war effort are perceived as belonging to their racial in-group, and less averse to those perceived as belonging to their racial out-group. This research is theoretically significant as it speaks to the fields of American politics; public opinion; international relations; and race, ethnicity, and politics. Further, this study demonstrates the need for scholars of public opinion and foreign policy to pay greater attention to race in future research, and highlights the importance of taking heterogeneity of racial-group identities seriously in social science.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Politics, Groups, and Identities on February 11, 2022, available online:

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Available for download on Friday, August 11, 2023