Issue salience and how to measure it This chapter shows that citizens for whom foreign policy issues are salient, are considerably more likely to support the use of military force for various purposes and under specifi c conditions. Public issue salience refers to the importance and urgency that the general public ascribes to a certain issue on the political agenda in relation to other issues (Wlezien 2005: 556-61; Soroka 2003: 28-9). In the process of theory formation and the academic discussions about the concept of public issue salience, four issues can be discerned: fi rst, how should issue salience be conceptualized, and how can the concept best be operationalized? On the one hand, we can think of salience as a societal condition, such as the degree of media attention or political controversy and the intensity of public debates. On the other hand, we can conceptualize issue salience as an individual condition, i.e. the degree to which people are interested or involved in an issue, or as a measure of the extent to which divisions or polarizations manifest themselves over a particular topic at the level of public opinion (cf. Johns 2010).