The Review of International Organizations

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 245–268 | Cite as

Does government ideology influence political alignment with the U.S.? An empirical analysis of voting in the UN General Assembly

  • Niklas PotrafkeEmail author


This paper examines whether government ideology has influenced political alignment with the U.S. in voting in the UN General Assembly. I analyze a dataset of UN General Assembly voting behavior of 21 OECD countries over the 1984–2005 period employing two alternative indices of government ideology. The results suggest that government ideology has had a strong influence on voting alignment with the U.S.: leftwing governments were less sympathetic to US positions. The ideology-induced effect was stronger when the US President was a Republican. This finding contrasts with the declining electoral cohesion in OECD countries. The distinctly different alignments of leftist and rightwing governments with the U.S. reflect deeper sources of ideological association than would be predicted if the issues were solely those of economic policy on a left–right spectrum.


Political alignment with the U.S. United Nations General Assembly voting Government ideology Anti-Americanism Panel data 

JEL Classification

F53 F51 D72 D78 C23 



I thank Christian Bjørnskov, Axel Dreher, Arye Hillman, Heinrich Ursprung and three anonymous referees for helpful comments, hints and suggestions. Viktor Brech has provided excellent research assistance. All errors are my own.

Supplementary material

11558_2009_9066_MOESM1_ESM.doc (48 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 48 kb)
11558_2009_9066_MOESM2_ESM.xls (178 kb)
ESM 2 (XLS 178 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of KonstanzKonstanzGermany

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