Citizen Support for Domestic Drone Use and Regulation

Jonathan P. West, Casey A. Klofstad, Joseph E. Uscinski, Jennifer M. Connolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Recently, governments, commercial firms, and individuals have increased their use of unmanned aerial vehicles (i.e., “drones”). As with many new technologies, drone use has outpaced government oversight. Attempts to regulate the technology have been met with intense public backlash. Therefore, governments need to understand the public’s preferences for a regulatory regime. Analyzing national survey data, we address two questions: (a) What policies do Americans prefer for the regulation of drones? and (b) Does the public believe the federal, state, or local government or nongovernmental actors should be responsible for regulating drone use? Public preferences are one of several important inputs affecting policymaking; therefore, our results provide an important overview of current public opinion toward drone policy, as well as a theoretical blueprint for understanding how such opinions might fluctuate overtime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-151
Number of pages33
JournalAmerican Politics Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • drone
  • federalism
  • public opinion
  • regulation
  • technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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