The Impact of Discrimination Scandals in the Armed Forces on Public Opinion
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Research suggests that narratives of discrimination within militaries can significantly influence public perceptions, trust, and material support for armed forces. Using Canada as a case study, we employ a survey experiment to gauge the effects of exposing respondents to narratives of discrimination against historically marginalized groups within the military, including First Nations, Métis, Inuit, Francophones, LGBTQ2S+, people of colour, and women. We examine how these narratives shape public trust in the military, support for defence spending, and perceptions of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as an employer of choice. Our webinar delves into the findings, assessing the public’s responsiveness to these issues and their consequential impact on trust and material support for the Canadian military. Additionally, we discuss the implications for maintaining the trust necessary for the survival of militaries and propose strategies for fostering greater inclusivity and ethical conduct within armed forces.