What do we think? A survey of white opinion on foreign policy issues no 4
This document describes the results of a survey of white South African opinion on foreign and domestic issues, confirming both the constants and shifts in opinion since the previous surveys. The survey was conducted by a self-completion questionnaire, with the sample size weighted to reflect the adult population. The questions concerned domestic and regional security issues, regional political and economic issues, international political and economic issues, and domestic socio-political issues. The survey confirms that shifts in white South African opinion were sensitive to the dynamics of domestic, regional and international politics. These changes reflect a hardening of opinion on both foreign/regional and domestic policy issues, with security concerns outweighing all others, although ambiguities exist concerning domestic social issues. Generally, the survey confirms the relevance of language group and party affiliation in South African politics. Finally, it leads to the conclusion that the hardening on international and regional issues is mirrored in domestic issues, implying that white threat perceptions are vulnerable to manipulation by politicians. This may bode ill for access to foreign media at higher levels, should the siege mentality come to dominate political thought in the arena of law and order.