Policy Preferences of People and Legitimacy of Governance in the Middle East

Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) 22H00055 (2022-2027)


Since the domestic politics of Middle Eastern countries often have significant international implications, elucidating the policy-making process is a highly sought-after research topic for solving international problems. This study positions the domestic politics of Middle Eastern countries as the result of policy preferences by the people of each country and analyzes the relationship between people’s realistic policy demands and their evaluative attitudes toward the governing institutions through public opinion polls, thereby clarifying the approval of the government, or the legitimacy of governance, from the people’s perspective.
Specifically, we aim to answer three research questions raised by recent developments in the Middle East region that have international implications. These questions are: 1) How do people form preferences for the policies proposed by political elites to rebuild their countries after conflicts, 2) To what extent do the policy responses of countries that are not in the midst of conflicts but are affected by refugee influxes and other factors, and under severe fiscal constraints, correspond to the preferences of the people, and 3) To what extent do the responses of countries to the social divisions brought about by globalization correspond to the preferences of the people? (3) How well do countries’ responses to the social fragmentation brought about by globalization match the preferences of their citizens? To answer the three questions using policy preferences as the starting point, we conduct and analyze an experimental public opinion survey in the countries surveyed to elucidate the legitimacy of governance in Middle Eastern countries.


Principal Investigator


    • Hiroyuki AOYAMA(Professor, Institute of Global Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
    • Kohei IMAI (Researcher, Area Studies Center, Institute of Developing Economic–JETRO)
    • Masaki MATSUO (Associate Professor, School of International Studies, Utsunomiya University)
    • Aiko NISHIKIDA (Associate Professor,  Department of Politics, Keio University)
    • Yutaka TAKAOKA (Independent Researcher of the Middle East)
    • Dai YAMAO (Associate Professor, Department of Social Studies, Kyushu University)


Created in April 2022