a1 The University of Texas at Austin
Despite increased attention to the linkages between domestic politics and international relations in political science literature over the last 20 years, considerable debate remains about how well equipped citizens are to act as informed constraints on governments or how attentive and responsive government actors are to public opinion. Debates about citizens' ability to act as a check on government behavior are not new, of course, and have a long tradition in political philosophy and in public discourse. Yet the proliferation of theories of domestic–international linkages in contemporary IR scholarship has unfortunately been accompanied by incomplete dialogue between public opinion and IR scholars and often by claims of unidirectional or unconditional causality regarding domestic constraints, elite framing and opinion leadership, citizens' informational capacities, and the role of the media. The relationship among these factors in shaping foreign policy is quite complex, however, and fortunately Thomas Knecht acknowledges this complexity and advances a conditional argument about the relationship between public attitudes and presidential decision making.