Almond–Lippmann consensus

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The Almond–Lippmann consensus is a principle of political theory authored by Gabriel Almond and Walter Lippmann shortly after the Second World War. It states that public opinion is:

  1. volatile and irrational, and thus a dubious basis for foreign policy;
  2. devoid of interest and susceptible to manipulation, and thus should not be studied.[1]

The consensus was highly influential in the 1950s and 1960s, but weakened following the conclusion of the Vietnam War, when it became clear that "the American public had taken a more sober and enlightened approach toward the war than the heads of government did", leading to Lippmann himself recanting.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Yuchtman-Yaar, Ephraim; Peres, Yoḥanan (2000). Between Consent and Dissent: Democracy and Peace in the Israeli Mind. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 10. Retrieved 10 November 2013.