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Little is known about how conspiracy beliefs and health responses are interrelated over time during the course of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. This longitudinal study tested two contrasting, but not mutually exclusive, hypotheses through cross-lagged modeling. First, based on the consequential nature of conspiracy beliefs, we hypothesize that conspiracy beliefs predict an increase in detrimental health responses over time. Second, as people may rationalize their behavior through conspiracy beliefs, we hypothesize that detrimental health responses predict increased conspiracy beliefs over time.
We measured conspiracy beliefs and several health-related responses (i.e. physical distancing, support for lockdown policy, and the perception of the coronavirus as dangerous) at three phases of the pandemic in the Netherlands (N = 4913): During the first lockdown (Wave 1: April 2020), after the first lockdown (Wave 2: June 2020), and during the second lockdown (Wave 3: December 2020).
For physical distancing and perceived danger, the overall cross-lagged effects supported both hypotheses, although the standardized effects were larger for the effects of conspiracy beliefs on these health responses than vice versa. The within-person change results only supported an effect of conspiracy beliefs on these health responses, depending on the phase of the pandemic. Furthermore, an overall cross-lagged effect of conspiracy beliefs on reduced support for lockdown policy emerged from Wave 2 to 3.
The results provide stronger support for the hypothesis that conspiracy beliefs predict health responses over time than for the hypothesis that health responses predict conspiracy beliefs over time.
While the current practice of the United Nations Security Council, the European Union, and the United States leans towards imposing only targeted sanctions in most of the cases, private actors often complain about inability to process financial transactions, ship goods, or deliver services in countries where sanctions targets are located. The impact of sanctions often ends up being widespread and indiscriminate because sanctions are implemented by for-profit actors. This article investigates how for-profit actors relate to the imposition of sanctions, how they reflect them in their decisions, and how they interact with the public authorities. The findings of our research show that for-profit actors, with the possible exception of the largest multinationals, do not engage with public authorities before the imposition of sanctions. The behaviour of for-profit actors in the implementation phase is in line with the assumption of firms and business as profit-maximisers. Weighting the profits from business against the costs of (non-)compliance and make the decisions that in their view maximise their profit. Indeed, de-risking seems to be the most common approach by the companies due to the uncertainties produced by the multiple and overlapping sanctions regimes imposed by the United Nations, the European Union, and the United States.
The notion that states’ foreign and security policies are not exclusively driven by material interests is now firmly established. Whose ideas matter and in what way, however, has remained subject to debate. We advance this debate by studying the crisis diplomacy of liberal democracies towards North Korea during four crises around the country’s violation of international norms between 1993 and 2009. Although liberal democracies share a common perception of North Korea’s nuclear programme as a threat to international peace and security, they differ widely in either confronting or accommodating North Korea. We examine the explanatory power of two ideational driving forces behind the foreign policy of liberal democracies: the ideological orientation of the government, on the one hand, and a country’s political culture, on the other. Our analysis of 22 liberal democracies demonstrates that different domestic cultures of dealing with norm violations have a significant impact on crisis diplomacy: countries with punitive domestic cultures tend to adopt confrontational policies towards international norm violators; while left governments are not more accommodationist than right governments. Ideational differences across states are thus more pronounced than those within states.
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