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The Heritability of Foreign Policy Preferences

  • Skyler J. Cranmer (a1) and Christopher T. Dawes (a2)

Abstract

Attitudes towards foreign policy have typically been explained by ideological and demographic factors. We approach this study from a different perspective and ex amine the extent to which foreign policy preferences correspond to genetic variation. Using data from the Minnesota Twin Family Study, we show that a moderate share of individual differences in the degree to which one's foreign policy preferences are hawkish or dovish can be attributed to genetic variation. We also show, based on a bivariate twin model, that foreign policy preferences share a common genetic source of variation with political ideology. This result presents the possibility that ideology may be the causal pathway through which genes affect foreign policy preferences.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Address for Correspondence: Skyler J. Cranmer, Department of Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 311 Hamilton Hall, CB#3265, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3265, USA. Email: Skyler@unc.edu.
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Twin Research and Human Genetics
  • ISSN: 1832-4274
  • EISSN: 1839-2628
  • URL: /core/journals/twin-research-and-human-genetics
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