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Public Diplomacy by the Numbers

Reports from multi-national opinion surveys on U.S. standing and related issues

Views of US Continue to Improve in 2011
BBC Country Rating Poll. Released 7 March 2011

Views of the US continued their overall improvement in 2011, according to the annual BBC World Service Country Rating Poll of 27 countries around the world.

Of the countries surveyed, 18 hold predominantly positive views of the US, seven hold negative views and two are divided. On average , 49 per cent of people have positive views of US influence in the world--up four points from 2010--and 31 per cent hold negative views. The poll, conducted by GlobeScan/PIPA, asked a total of 28,619 people to rate the influence in the world of 16 major nations, plus the European Union.

In 2007 a slight majority (54%) had a negative view of the United States and only close to three in ten (28%) had a positive view; America was among the countries with the lowest ratings. Views began to rise in 2008, with positive views rising to 32% on average, and now the USA is in a middle tier position, ranking substantially higher than China.

A country that showed even greater improvement this year was Brazil. Positive views of Brazil's influence jumped from 40 to 49 per cent on average over the previous year, with negative views dropping to just 20 per cent. Views of Brazil are now predominantly positive in all but two of the countries polled (Germany and China).

In the year when South Africa hosted the World Cup, the proportion positively rating its influence in the world rose significantly, from 35 to 42 per cent. Germany was again the most positively viewed nation, with 62 per cent rating its influence as positive (up 3 points).

Overall, positive ratings increased of 13 of the 16 nations rated. These also included the United Kingdom, whose positive ratings rose five points to 58 per cent, making it, for the first time, the second most positively rated country. This upwards movement for many countries counters a downward movement found in 2010, but also, in most cases, surpasses the levels found in earlier years.

In marked contrast, the three most negatively viewed countries saw their average ratings go from bad to worse, including Iran (59% negative, up 3 points since 2010), North Korea (55%, up 6 points), and Pakistan (56%, up 5 points). There was a significant increase in negative views of Iran in key Western countries including the United Kingdom (up 20 points), Canada (up 19 points), the USA (up 18 points), and Australia (up 15 points). However, Israel, for many years among the least positively viewed nations, bucked this trend, keeping its negative ratings at 49 per cent and showing a slight lift in positive ratings from 19 to 21 per cent.

The BBC World Service Country Rating Poll has been tracking opinions about country influence in the world since 2005. The latest results are based on 28,619 in-home or telephone interviews conducted across a total of 27 countries by the international polling firm GlobeScan, together with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. GlobeScan coordinated fieldwork between December 2, 2010 and February 4, 2011.

Muslim Publics Divided on Hamas and Hezbollah. Released 2 December 2010

Extremist groups Hamas and Hezbollah continue to receive mixed ratings from Muslim publics. However, opinions of al Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, are consistently negative; only in Nigeria do Muslims offer views that are, on balance, positive toward al Qaeda and bin Laden.

Hezbollah receives its most positive ratings in Jordan, where 55% of Muslims have a favorable view; a slim majority (52%) of Lebanese Muslims also support the group, which operates politically and militarily in their country.

But Muslim views of Hezbollah reflect a deep sectarian divide in Lebanon, where the group's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, is threatening violence if a United Nations tribunal indicts Hezbollah members for the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. More than nine-in-ten (94%) Lebanese Shia support the organization, while an overwhelming majority (84%) of Sunnis in that country express unfavorable views.

In neighboring Egypt and Turkey, attitudes toward Hezbollah are generally negative. Just 30% of Muslims in Egypt, and even fewer (5%) in Turkey, offer favorable views of the Lebanon-based organization. Outside of Turkey and the Middle East, many Muslims cannot rate Hezbollah, but views are on balance positive among those who do offer an opinion of the group in Nigeria and Indonesia.

The survey, conducted April 12 to May 7 by the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project, finds that the Palestinian organization Hamas, which, like Hezbollah, has been classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and other Western governments, also receives mixed ratings across the Muslim publics surveyed. Jordanian Muslims express the most support -- 60% have a favorable view of Hamas -- while Muslims in Turkey offer the least positive ratings (9% favorable and 67% unfavorable). Opinions of Hamas are nearly evenly split in Egypt and Lebanon.

In most countries, views of Hamas and Hezbollah have changed little, if at all, since 2009. In Indonesia, however, more Muslims express favorable views of both groups now than did so last year; 39% now have positive views of Hamas, compared with 32% last year, and 43% have favorable opinions of Hezbollah, compared with 29% in 2009. And among Nigerian Muslims, favorable views of both Hamas and Hezbollah are now less common than they were in 2009 (49% vs. 58% and 45% vs. 59%, respectively)....

2010 Arab Public Opinion Poll. Released 5 August 2010

Among the key poll findings are:

  • A substantial change in the assessment of President Obama, both as president of the United States and of Obama personally.
  • Remarkably stable views on the Arab-Israeli conflict and the prospects of its resolution.
  • A majority of the Arab public now see a nuclear-armed Iran as being better for the Middle East.

Among the most striking findings on the question of attitudes toward President Obama: Early in the Obama administration, in April and May 2009, 51% of the respondents in the six countries expressed optimism about American policy in the Middle East. In the 2010 poll, only 16% were hopeful, while a majority - 63% - was discouraged.

On Iran's potential nuclear weapons status, results show another dramatic shift in public opinion. While the results vary from country to country, the weighted average across the six countries is telling: in 2009, only 29% of those polled said that Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons would be "positive" for the Middle East; in 2010, 57% of those polled indicate that such an outcome would be "positive" for the Middle East.

The poll was directed by Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland and nonresident senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, which is produced each year in conjunction with Zogby International. This year's poll surveyed 3,976 people in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates, during the period of 29 June - 20 July 2010.

Obama More Popular Abroad than at Home, Global Image of U.S. Continues to Benefit. Released 17 June 2010

America's image is on balance positive in most of the nations surveyed, and overall there has been little change since last year. Looking at the 20 countries surveyed for which 2009 trends are available, positive views of the United States have become more common in six nations, less common in six, and have remained about the same in eight. But there have been notable shifts in some countries, including significant improvements in Russia and China.

Driven by President Obama's popularity in the region, favorable ratings for the U.S. in Western Europe soared between 2008 and 2009, and in this year's poll attitudes remain overwhelmingly positive in Britain, France, Germany and Spain.

Opinions about the U.S. have turned sharply negative, however, in Mexico, where resentment of Arizona's new immigration law is fueling a backlash against the U.S., the American people, and even against President Obama, who has publicly criticized the measure.

And, despite the continued favorable image of the U.S. in most parts of the world, in nine of the fifteen countries where comparable data is available, America's favorability still lags behind that found in 1999/2000 at the end of President Bill Clinton's time in office. The U.S. is only more popular in five countries than in the Clinton era – France, Spain, Russia, South Korea and Nigeria.

The U.S. also continues to face image challenges in predominantly Muslim nations. Roughly one year since Obama's Cairo address, America's image shows few signs of improving in the Muslim world, where opposition to key elements of U.S. foreign policy remains pervasive and many continue to perceive the U.S. as a potential military threat to their countries.

Concerns about American foreign policy are not limited to Muslim publics, however. Most notably, in regions across the globe, there is a common perception that the U.S. acts unilaterally in world affairs. The war in Afghanistan also remains widely unpopular, although publics among some of America's European allies are closely divided on this issue. Support for the war has declined over the last year in the U.S. and Americans are also now about evenly split between those who want to keep troops in Afghanistan and those who favor withdrawal.

One issue on which Americans and Western Europeans differ sharply is how they perceive religiosity in the U.S. By a hefty margin, the French, British and Germans say the U.S. is too religious a country, while Americans overwhelmingly think their country is not religious enough. On this issue, Americans tend to agree with the rest of the world – in 17 of 21 countries people tend to say the U.S. is not sufficiently religious.

U.S. Image Largely Positive

Majorities or pluralities in 17 of 21 countries have a very or somewhat favorable opinion of the U.S. The biggest increase in favorable ratings for the U.S. has been among Russians. In America's former Cold War nemesis, 57% now have a positive view, up 13 percentage points from last year. There was also a significant increase in the other former Eastern bloc nation included in the survey, Poland, where 74% express a favorable opinion, up from 67% in 2009.

Among America's key Western European allies, ratings remain generally positive and largely steady. After a steep decline in approval during the years of the Bush presidency, large majorities in all four Western European nations surveyed now express a positive attitude toward the U.S. Fully 73% in France give the U.S. positive marks, essentially unchanged from last year. U.S. favorability dropped just slightly in Britain, from 69% to 65%. Again this year, just over six-in-ten in Germany (63%) and Spain (61%) offered a favorable assessment.

Favorable ratings for the U.S. have suffered a double-digit decline in Egypt. In 2009, 27% of Egyptians had a favorable opinion, but this year only 17% hold this view, tying Egypt with Turkey (17%) and Pakistan (17%) for the lowest U.S. favorability rating in the survey. Views of the U.S. are only slightly more positive in Jordan, where 21% give a favorable assessment, down somewhat from 25% last year. The two predominantly Muslim countries that accord the U.S. its most positive ratings are Lebanon (55%) and, especially, Indonesia (59%), where President Obama's personal connection to the country buoys America's overall image.

Ratings for the U.S. have improved markedly in China – 58% have a positive view this year, up from 47% last year. America's image has been steadily improving in China since 2007, when only 34% expressed a favorable opinion.

Favorable ratings have become less common over the last year in India, dropping 10 percentage points. Nonetheless, 66% of Indians continue to hold a positive opinion of the U.S.

An identical percentage of Japanese (66%) voice a positive view. And despite the July 2009 election of a new ruling party that, according to many observers, has voiced criticisms of American policies, U.S. favorability has actually risen seven percentage points since the spring 2009 poll. Elsewhere in Asia, South Koreans continue to give the U.S. overwhelmingly positive marks (79%).

The only publics giving the U.S. higher marks than South Koreans are the two nations surveyed in sub-Saharan Africa. Roughly eight-in-ten (81%) have a positive view in the continent's most populous country, Nigeria. And with near unanimity, Kenyans (94%) voice a positive opinion of the U.S. Additionally, President Obama is extremely popular in Kenya, and the 2009 Pew Global Attitudes survey found that the vast majority of Kenyans were aware of his personal connection to their nation (his father was from Kenya). However, the U.S. was also relatively popular in Kenya, and in much of Africa, during George W. Bush's presidency....

Results for the survey are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International. All surveys are based on national samples except in China, India, and Pakistan where the samples were disproportionately urban.

Global Views of United States Improve While Other Countries Decline
BBC/GlobeScan/PIPA. Released 18 April 2010

Global views of the United States have improved markedly over the last year while views of many countries have become more negative, according to the latest BBC World Service poll across 28 countries. For the first time since the BBC started tracking in 2005, views of the United States' influence in the world are now more positive than negative on average.

The survey, conducted by GlobeScan/PIPA among more than 29,000 adults, asked respondents to say whether they considered the influence of different countries in the world to be mostly positive or mostly negative. It found that the United States is viewed positively on balance in 20 of 28 countries, with an average of 46 per cent now saying it has a mostly positive influence in the world, while 34 per cent say it has a negative influence.

Compared to a year earlier, negative ratings of the United States have dropped a striking nine points on average across the countries surveyed both years, while positive ratings are up a more modest four points. Ratings of the influence of many other countries, meanwhile, have declined over the past year. On average, positive ratings of the United Kingdom and Japan are down three points, Canada down six points, and the European Union down four points. Ratings of the United Kingdom's influence in the world declined significantly in 11 countries and rose in only three....

Germany is the most favourably viewed nation (an average of 59% positive), followed by Japan (53%), the United Kingdom (52%), Canada (51%), and France (49%). The European Union is viewed positively by 53 per cent. In contrast, Iran is the least favourably viewed nation (15%), followed by Pakistan (16%), North Korea (17%), Israel (19%), and Russia (30%).

While it is not among the most favourably viewed nations, the improvement in the ratings of the United States means it has now overtaken China in terms of positive perceptions. Fifteen countries view China favourably on balance, with an average of 41 per cent feeling it has a mostly positive influence in the world and 38 per cent feeling its influence is mostly negative.

Iran attracts mostly negative views in all countries polled except Mexico and Pakistan--on average, 56 per cent rate it negatively. Views of Iran in China and Russia have deteriorated--positive views have dropped 11 points among the Chinese people (30%) while negative views of Iran have jumped up 13 points among Russians (to 45%).

The BBC World Service Poll has been tracking opinions about country influence in the world since 2005. The latest results are based on 29,977 in-home or telephone interviews conducted across a total of 28 countries by the international polling firm GlobeScan, together with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. GlobeScan coordinated fieldwork between 30 November 2009 and 16 February 2010....

Global Perceptions of U.S. Leadership Improve in 2009
Gallup, Meridian International Center. Released 9 February 2010

Perceptions of U.S. leadership worldwide improved significantly from 2008 to 2009. The U.S.-Global Leadership Project, a partnership between the Meridian International Center and Gallup, finds that a median of 51% of the world approves of the job performance of the current leadership of the U.S., up from a median of 34% in 2008.

Gallup has asked residents worldwide to rate the leadership of the U.S. since 2005, which enables a comparison of how perceptions of U.S. leadership have changed from the Bush administration to the Obama administration. The global median approval of U.S. leadership remained relatively steady from 2005 to 2008. In 2009, a bare median majority approves of the job performance of U.S. leadership (51%) -- a first since Gallup began asking the question worldwide in 2005.

Significant improvements in sentiment toward U.S. leadership are evident in all four major global regions, with the largest year-over-year increase in approval measured in Europe. Median approval of U.S. leadership increased by 28 percentage points between 2008 and 2009 in this region. A median of 47% approves and a median of 20% disapproves -- the first time disapproval has dropped below 50% in Europe since Gallup first asked the question.

Historically, approval of U.S. leadership has been highest in Africa. However, there is great variability in the region on this issue with approval highest in sub-Saharan Africa and tending to be lower in North African countries. This trend continues in 2009, with a median approval of 83%, which is well above the median approval in other regions. Approval of U.S. leadership ranges from ratings that are higher than 90% in Ivory Coast (94%), Kenya (93%), and Uganda (91%) to lows of 38% in Morocco and 37% in Egypt and Tunisia.

A regional median of 53% in the Americas approves of the job performance of U.S. leadership and a median of 18% disapproves. Approval of U.S. leadership varies from a low of 40% in Bolivia and 42% in Argentina, Ecuador, and Nicaragua to a high of 68% in El Salvador.

Perceptions of U.S. leadership are more divided in Asia than in any other region. In 2009, a median of more than one-third (38%) say they approve, while 29% disapproved. Pakistanis express the lowest approval of U.S. leadership, at 9%, followed by 14% approval in Iraq, 15% in Syria, and 17% in Vietnam. Approval was highest in Singapore (68%), Japan (66%), Cambodia (64%), Turkmenistan (61%), and Israel (61%). ...

Results are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 adults, aged 15 and older, conducted in 121 countries throughout 2005-2006, 95 countries throughout 2007, 113 countries throughout 2008, and 102 countries throughout 2009. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error ranged from a low of ±2.2 percentage points in Russia to a high of ±5.8 percentage points in Ghana in 2005-2006; a low of ±3.0 percentage points in Belarus, Japan, and Malaysia to a high of ±5.4 percentage points in Ghana in 2007; a low of ±2.5 percentage points in Russia to a high of ±5.8 percentage points in Zambia in 2008; a low of ±2.8 percentage points in Russia to a high of ±5.7 percentage points in Slovenia in 2009. The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Majorities in Developed and Developing Countries Want Action on Climate Change, Even if it Entails Costs
World Bank/WorldPublicOpinion.org/PIPA. Released 3 December 2009

A new poll of 15 nations, most of them in the developing world, finds that majorities of the people canvassed want their governments to take steps to fight climate change, even if that entails costs. People signaled they would support public measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions and step up adaptation measures. For example, respondents would support higher fuel efficiency standards for cars, preserving or expanding forests, and extending funding to vulnerable countries so they can develop hardier crops suited to more severe climates....

Majorities in 14 of 15 countries are willing to pay to fight global climate change. In each country, the poll asked people whether they were willing to bear higher prices for energy and other goods, as part of taking steps to fight climate change. These price increases were calculated as 0.5% and 1.0% of each country's per capita GDP, and then described to respondents as defined monthly amounts in local currency. Majorities in six countries--China (68%), Vietnam (59%), Japan (53%), Iran (51%) and Mexico (51%)--say they are willing to pay 1%. In addition, majorities in an additional eight countries are willing to pay between 0.5% and 1.0%....

Majorities in all countries support "limiting the rate of constructing coal-fired power plants, even if this increases the cost of energy." In China, which is highly reliant on coal, 67% support this measure. On average across all countries polled, 68% support the idea (31% strongly) and 26% oppose it (8% strongly).

Similarly, majorities in 12 countries support "gradually increasing the requirements for fuel efficiency in automobiles, even if this raises the cost of cars and bus fares." Majorities in 11 countries support "gradually reducing government subsidies that favor private transportation, even if this raises its cost." Majorities in all countries polled support "preserving or expanding forested areas, even if this means less land for agriculture or construction."

The poll also asked about helping poor countries adapt to the effects of climate change. Fourteen majorities and one plurality say their countries "should contribute to international efforts to help poor countries deal with these climate-induced changes." Many developing countries (such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Kenya, and Senegal) express more than 90% support for acting in solidarity with other countries facing problems like their own....

Carried out by WorldPublicOpinion.org and commissioned by the World Bank, the poll questioned 13,518 respondents in 15 nations-- Bangladesh, China, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Russia, Senegal, Turkey, the United States, and Vietnam. ... The surveys were conducted across the different nations in September and October 2009.

Twenty years after the Cold War, little support found for capitalism
BBC World Service/GlobeScan/PIPA. Released 9 November 2009

Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a new BBC World Service global poll finds that dissatisfaction with free market capitalism is widespread, with an average of only 11% across 27 countries saying that it works well and that greater regulation is not a good idea.

In only two countries do more than one in five feel that capitalism works well as it stands--the US (25%) and Pakistan (21%).

The most common view is that free market capitalism has problems that can be addressed through regulation and reform--a view held by an average of 51% of more than 29,000 people polled by GlobeScan/PIPA.

An average of 23% feel that capitalism is fatally flawed, and a new economic system is needed--including 43% in France, 38% in Mexico, 35% in Brazil and 31% in Ukraine.

Furthermore, majorities would like their government to be more active in owning or directly controlling their country's major industries in 15 of the 27 countries. This view is particularly widely held in countries of the former Soviet states of Russia (77%), and Ukraine (75%), but also Brazil (64%), Indonesia (65%), and France (57%)....

The results are drawn from a survey of 29,033 adult citizens across 27 countries, conducted for BBC World Service by the international polling firm GlobeScan, together with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. GlobeScan coordinated fieldwork between 19 June and 13 October 2009.

Declining support for bin Laden and suicide bombing
Pew Global Attitudes Project. Released 10 September 2009

Eight years after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the Pew Global Attitudes Project finds that support for Osama bin Laden has declined considerably among Muslim publics in recent years. Moreover, majorities or pluralities among eight of the nine Muslim publics surveyed this year say that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilians can never be justified to defend Islam; only in the Palestinian territories does a majority endorse such attacks.

The drop in support for bin Laden has been most dramatic in Indonesia, Pakistan and Jordan. Currently, about one-quarter of Muslims in Jordan (28%) and Indonesia (25%) express confidence in the al Qaeda leader to do the right thing regarding world affairs; in 2003, majorities in each country agreed (56% and 59%, respectively).

In Pakistan, where bin Laden is believed to be hiding, 18% of Muslims now say they have confidence in him. Just last year, 34% of Pakistani Muslims expressed support for bin Laden and, in 2003, nearly half (46%) agreed. Pakistani Muslims' views of al Qaeda have also grown less favorable over the past year; 9% have a favorable view of the group, compared with 25% in 2008....

Only in Nigeria is Osama bin Laden more popular among Muslims than he was earlier in the decade. More than half of Nigerian Muslims (54%) have confidence in bin Laden when it comes to world affairs; 44% said that was the case in 2003....

Support for suicide bombing and other forms or violence that target civilians has also declined in recent years. Among the Muslim publics surveyed, Pakistanis now express the strongest rejection to this kind of violence -- 87% say such acts are never justified. In 2002, just months after the September 11 attacks, one-third in Pakistan said suicide bombing was often or sometimes justified in order to defend Islam, while 43% said it was rarely or never justified.

Support for U.S. leadership skyrockets in Europe
Transatlantic Trends 2009. Released 9 September 2009

To Europeans, President Obama is certainly no George W. Bush. Support of the current American president jumped 80 percentage points in Germany, 77 points in France, 70 in Portugal, and 64 in Italy. No other single annual indicator changed this much in the eight years of Transatlantic Trends. Even in Turkey, where only half the respondents (50%) support Obama, that backing represents a 42 percentage-point increase over approval of President Bush (8%) in 2008.

The Obama bounce was more pronounced in Western than in Central and Eastern Europe. West Europeans (86%) overwhelmingly view Obama’s policies favorably. But respondents in Central and East European countries, while still supportive (60%), are markedly less enthusiastic. In 2009, fewer people in Central and Eastern Europe (53%) than in Western Europe (63%) see America in a positive light. That is a reversal from 2008 when, by a slight margin, Central and East European nations (44%) were more favorably disposed toward the United States than were their West European counterparts (40%). People in Central and Eastern Europe (25%) are far less likely than West Europeans (43%) to believe that relations between the United States and Europe have improved over the past year.

Fewer Central and East Europeans (53%) than West Europeans (63%) believe that NATO is essential. But more Central and East Europeans (45%) than West Europeans (39%) believe that the partnership in security, diplomatic, and economic affairs between the United States and the European Union should become closer, suggesting a desire for better ties with Washington even as the region remains relatively cool to the new American president.

Notwithstanding growing European support for transatlantic security cooperation, the NATO allies disagree about Afghanistan. Nearly two-thirds of Europeans (63%) are pessimistic about stabilizing the situation in that war-torn country. At the same time, a majority of Americans (56%) are optimistic. The prevailing view in all of the nations surveyed, except for the United States, is to see the number of their troops reduced or their forces totally withdrawn. More than half of West Europeans (55%) and two-thirds of East Europeans (69%) want to reduce or remove their soldiers from Afghanistan. In the United States, but not so much in Europe, the Afghanistan troop deployment is a partisan concern. Two-in-five Democrats (46%) and Independents (43%), but one-in-five Republicans (22%) want to reduce or withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Nevertheless, 10 of the 12 European countries show no inhibition about increasing European contributions to Afghanistan’s economic reconstruction, as Obama has requested. ...

The Obama presidency has been a boon for transatlantic relations. In 2009, the proportion of the population that believes transatlantic ties improved over the past year has doubled in the European Union (to 41%) and tripled in the United States (to 31%) from 2008. There is less of a sense of improvement in Central and Eastern Europe (25%), however. In the United States, attitudes divide along partisan lines. Fewer Republicans (14%) and Independents (22%) than Democrats (39%) believe that the U.S.-European relationship has improved over the last year. ...

TNS Opinion conducted the survey and collected the data from the United States and 12 European countries: Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria. Interviews were conducted by telephone using CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews) in all countries except Poland, Slovakia, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania (where lower telephone penetration necessitates face-to-face interviews), between June 9 and July 1, 2009. In each country, a random sample of approximately 1,000 men and women, 18 years of age and older were interviewed. The margin of error is plus/minus 3 percentage points.

Confidence in Obama lifts U.S. image around the world
Pew Global Attitudes Project. Released 23 July 2009

The image of the United States has improved markedly in most parts of the world, reflecting global confidence in Barack Obama. In many countries opinions of the United States are now about as positive as they were at the beginning of the decade before George W. Bush took office. Improvements in the U.S. image have been most pronounced in Western Europe, where favorable ratings for both the nation and the American people have soared. But opinions of America have also become more positive in key countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia, as well.

Signs of improvement in views of America are seen even in some predominantly Muslim countries that held overwhelmingly negative views of the United States in the Bush years. The most notable increase occurred in Indonesia, where people are well aware of Obama's family ties to the country and where favorable ratings of the U.S. nearly doubled this year. However for the most part, opinions of the U.S. among Muslims in the Middle East remain largely unfavorable, despite some positive movement in the numbers in Jordan and Egypt. Animosity toward the U.S., however, continues to run deep and unabated in Turkey, the Palestinian territories and Pakistan.

Israel stands out in the poll as the only public among the 25 surveyed where the current U.S. rating is lower than in past surveys.

In contrast, in Germany favorable opinion of the U.S. jumped from 31% in 2008 to 64% in the current survey. Large boosts in U.S. favorability ratings since last year are also recorded in Britain, Spain and France. In its own hemisphere, America's image rose markedly in Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. Improvements in U.S. ratings are less evident in countries where the country's image had not declined consistently during the Bush years, including Poland, Japan and South Korea. Opinions of the U.S. remain very positive in the African nations of Kenya and Nigeria, while increasing significantly in India and China.

The new survey by the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project, conducted May 18 to June 16, finds that confidence in Barack Obama's foreign policy judgments stands behind a resurgent U.S. image in many countries. Belief that Obama will "do the right thing in world affairs" is now nearly universal in Western countries, where lack of confidence in President Bush had been almost as prevalent for much of his time in office. In France and Germany, no fewer than nine-in-ten express confidence in the new American president, exceeding the ratings achieved by Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel in their own countries...

Countries and regions included in the survey:
- The Americas: United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico
- Europe: Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Poland, Russia
- Middle East: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinian territories, Turkey
- Africa: Nigeria, Kenya
- Asia: Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Pakistan, China, India

Results for the survey are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International. All surveys are based on national samples except in Brazil, China, India, and Pakistan where the samples were disproportionately urban.

Overseas publics continue to distrust U.S. policies, despite high approval of Obama.
WorldPublicOpinion.org. Released 7 July 2009

A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll finds that around the world US foreign policy continues to receive heavy criticism on a variety of fronts, even though in 13 of 19 nations most people say they have confidence in President Obama to do the right thing in international affairs.

The US is criticized for coercing other nations with its superior power (15 of 19 nations), failing to abide by international law (17 of 19 nations), and for how it is dealing with climate change (11 of 18 nations). Overall, views are mixed on whether the US is playing a mainly positive or mainly negative role in the world.

Asked whether they have confidence in Barack Obama to "do the right thing regarding world affairs," for all nations (excluding the US) an average of 61 percent say they have some or a lot of confidence.

But asked how the US treats their government, few--on average just one in four--say it "treats us fairly," while two-thirds say that it "abuses its greater power to make us do what the US wants." Overall, these views are no better than they were in 2008. Only three countries diverged from this view (Kenya, Nigeria, and Germany).

In all nations polled, majorities say that the US "use(s) the threat of military force to gain advantages." Majorities range from 61 percent in India and Poland to 92 percent in South Korea and include America's close ally Great Britain (83%). On average, across all nations polled, 77 percent perceive the US as threatening. Even 71 percent of Americans agree....

Views of Obama are especially positive among Europeans including 92 percent of the British, 89 percent of the Germans, and 88 percent of the French. Even a majority of the Chinese concur (55%). The exceptions are majority-Muslim nations and Russia. Those saying they have not too much confidence or no confidence at all include majorities in the Palestinian territories (67%), Pakistan (62%), Egypt (60%), and Iraq (57%) as well as Russia (55%).

But on average, only one in four agrees that the US is "an important leader in promoting international laws and sets a good example by following them," while two-thirds say "the US tries to promote international laws for other countries, but is hypocritical because it does not follow these rules itself." Here too, overall, there has been no significant change from 2008. The most negative are France (79%) and Egypt (78%). Even in America's close ally Britain three-quarters say the US is hypocritical. Kenya and Nigeria are the only nations that give the US good grades (55% and 52% respectively) on complying with international law.

WorldPublicOpinion.org conducted the poll of 19,923 respondents in 20 nations that comprise 62 percent of the world's population. This includes most of the largest nations--China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Russia--as well as Mexico, Germany, Great Britain, France, Poland, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kenya, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, the Palestinian territories, and South Korea. Polling was also conducted in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

WorldPublicOpinion.org, a collaborative project involving research centers from around the world, is managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. The margins of error range from +/-3 to 4 percentage points. Not all questions were asked in all nations. The survey was conducted between April 4 and June 12, 2009, prior to Obama's speech in Cairo but subsequent to his Ankara speech....

Obama most trusted as world leader.
WorldPublicOpinion.org. Released 29 June 2009

US President Barack Obama has the confidence of many publics around the world - inspiring far more confidence than any other world political leader according to a new poll of 20 nations by WorldPublicOpinion.org. A year ago, President Bush was one of the least trusted leaders in the world.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin now have the most negative confidence ratings around the world. On average across all nations about half have little or no confidence that they will "do the right thing regarding world affairs" while just a third or less do have confidence....

An average of 61 percent express a lot or some confidence in Obama to do the right thing in world affairs, across the nineteen nations polled (excluding the US). Thirty-one percent say they have not too much or no confidence at all. In 13 nations, a majority or plurality has confidence in Obama; in five nations they do not; one nation is divided. A majority of the American public (70%) also expresses confidence in Obama in world affairs.

No other leader has the confidence of more than an average of 40 percent across the publics polled. For most leaders, more express a lack of confidence than express confidence....

President Ahmadinejad has the confidence of an average of only 28 percent across the 20 nations, while 49 percent do not have confidence in the Iranian leader. Fourteen nations have a negative view, lead by the US (84%) Germany (81%), France (79%), and South Korea (67%). The public in six nations express confidence in Ahmadinejad led by two majority-Muslim nations; Pakistan (75%) and the Palestinian territories (57%)....

Russian Prime Minister Putin has the confidence of publics in five nations (the lowest of any leader tested), but in 14 the public has little confidence. On average across 19 nations other than Russia, 34 percent of the public expresses confidence and 50 percent do not. Critics of Putin include France (78% little confidence), Poland (76%), Germany (72%), and the US (69%) as well as all of the nations of the Middle East that were polled....

WorldPublicOpinion.org conducted the poll of 19,224 respondents in nations that comprise 62 percent of the world's population. This includes most of the largest nations--China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Russia--as well as Mexico, Germany, Great Britain, France, Poland, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kenya, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, the Palestinian territories, and South Korea. Publics were also polled in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. The margins of error range from +/-3 to 4 percent....

Germans view Obama favorably; opinions on U.S. policies improving.
WorldPublicOpinion.org. Released 4 June 2009

According to a new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of the German public, when President Obama speaks to Germans on Friday, he will encounter an audience that is not only positive about Obama himself, but is beginning to lean positively toward the US as well. At the same time, disagreements remain on US policies on climate change, the use of military force in general, and, most importantly, the operation in Afghanistan.

A striking 89 percent of Germans say they have confidence in Obama to "do the right thing in world affairs."

For the first time since the Iraq war a plurality of Germans express positive views of the US. Forty-four percent of Germans now say the US is playing a mainly positive role in the world, while 34 percent see it as playing a negative role. In 2008 BBC found only 20 percent thinking the US was a positive influence, and Pew found just 31 percent who viewed the US favorably.

The number of Germans who think the US treats Germany fairly has jumped to 48 percent from 33 percent in August 2008. Forty-two percent still say the US "abuses its greater power to make us do what the US wants," but this is down from 61 percent.

A modest majority (54%) currently sees the US as "generally cooperative with other countries"; while 27 percent say it is not (19 percent say "it depends" or do not answer).

At the same time, the German public's more benign view of the US does not extend to every global issue. A clear majority (56%) disapproves of how the US is dealing with climate change; only 25 percent approve. A full two-thirds think "the US uses the threat of military force to gain advantages." Fifty-four percent disapprove of the recent increase of US troops in Afghanistan.

And on the world financial crisis, a big majority (68%) thinks US economic policies have "contributed a lot" to the downturn in the German economy....

The poll of 1000 German adults was conducted by telephone from April 29 to May 14 by the German polling firm Ri*QUESTA GmbH, a member of the WorldPublicOpinion.org network. The findings have a margin of error of +/-3.2 percent....

More Egyptians view Obama favorably than Bush, but are still skeptical of U.S. policies.
WorldPublicOpinion.org. Released 3 June 2009

A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll finds Egyptians continue to view US foreign policy quite negatively and see President Obama as closely aligned with it. At the same time, Obama has much better ratings than Bush had, and there are signs of thawing feelings toward the US.

Asked how much confidence they have in Obama to do the right thing in international affairs, 39 percent say they have some or a lot of confidence--up sharply from the 8 percent who viewed George W. Bush positively in January 2008. Views of the United States government have also improved with favorable views rising to 46 percent from 27 percent in an August 2008 WorldPublicOpinion.org poll.

However, there has been little change in the views of US foreign policy. Sixty-seven percent say that the US plays a negative role in the world.

Large majorities continue to believe the US has goals to weaken and divide the Islamic world (76%) and control Middle East oil (80%). Eight in 10 say the US is seeking to impose American culture on Muslim countries (80%). Six in ten say it is not a goal of the US to create a Palestinian state. These numbers are virtually unchanged from 2008.

When asked about Obama's goals, Egyptians' views are almost exactly the same as their views of US goals. Sixty percent say they have little or no confidence that Obama will do the right thing in international affairs....

The poll was conducted through face-to-face interviews from April 25-May 12 with 600 urban Egyptians. The margin of error is 4.1 percent....

Opinion of the U.S. remains negative; views of China and Russia decline
BBC World Service/PIPA/GlobeScan. Released February 2009

Public views of China and Russia have slipped considerably in the past year, according to a new BBC World Service poll across 21 countries. Views of the US have improved modestly over the past year but remain predominantly negative, even though the poll was taken after President Obama's election.

In last year's BBC Poll across the same countries, people leaned toward saying China and Russia were having positive influences in the world. But views of China are now divided, with positive ratings having slipped six points to 39 per cent, while 40 per cent are now negative. Negative views of Russia have jumped eight points so that now, substantially more have a negative (42%) than a positive view (30%) of Russia's influence.

Views of the US showed improvements in Canada, Egypt, Ghana, India, Italy and Japan. But far more countries have predominantly negative views of America (12), than predominantly positive views (6). Most Europeans show little change and views of the US in Russia and China have grown more negative. On average, positive views have risen from 35 per cent to 40 per cent, but they are still outweighed by negative views (43%, down from 47%)....

The US for the first time since 2005 has surpassed Russia in positive ratings (an average of 40% for the US as compared to 30% for Russia), but their negative ratings are similar as are the number of countries giving them predominantly positive or negative ratings....

As was the case last year, Iran, Israel and Pakistan are the three countries rated most negatively. Iran had the poorest average ratings of the countries people were asked to rate, with 55 per cent feeling it has a negative influence in the world. Fourteen of the twenty one countries see it as having a negative influence.

Pakistan also gets very low ratings with 53 per cent giving negative ratings and 17 percent positive ones. Eighteen countries see Pakistan as having a negative influence....

As last year, the most positive views are of Germany, with positive ratings rising even higher from 55 per cent to 61 per cent on average. Every country polled has a favourable view of Germany. The UK has also moved up seven points, with an average of 58 per cent today saying it is having a positive influence....

The latest results are based on 13,575 in-home or telephone interviews conducted across a total of 26 countries by the international polling firm GlobeScan, together with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. GlobeScan coordinated fieldwork between 21 November 2008 and 1 February 2009. The countries surveyed include: Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Philippines, Russia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA.

Europeans favor Obama presidency; Americans and Europeans share concerns on terrorism, international economy, Russia
Transatlantic Trends. Released 10 September 2008

A new survey shows that nearly half of Europeans (47%) believe that relations between the United States and Europe will improve if Senator Barack Obama is elected the next U.S. president, compared with 29% who believe relations will stay the same, and 5% who believe relations will worsen. If Senator John McCain is elected, only 11% believe that transatlantic relations will improve, compared to 49% who believe relations will stay the same, and 13% who believe that relations will worsen....

TNS Opinion conducted the survey and collected the data from the United States and 12 European countries: Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria. Interviews were conducted by telephone using CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews) in all countries except Poland, Slovakia, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania (where lower telephone penetration necessitates face-to-face interviews), between June 4 and June 24, 2008. In each country, a random sample of approximately 1,000 men and women, 18 years of age and older were interviewed. The margin of error is plus/minus three percentage points....

Sixty-nine percent of Europeans viewed Senator Barack Obama favorably, compared with 26% who viewed Senator John McCain favorably. The highest favorability ratings for Obama were found in France (85%), the Netherlands (85%), and Germany (83%), and the highest favorability ratings for McCain were found in Portugal (35%), the Netherlands (33%), Spain (33%), and the United Kingdom (33%). Among Europeans who felt that U.S. leadership in world affairs is "undesirable," 50% believed that relations will improve under an Obama presidency and 10% believed that relations will improve under McCain....

While most Europeans continue to feel that Europe should take a more independent role in security and diplomatic affairs apart from the United States, modest increases in the percentage of those who felt relations should become closer were found in all countries. The overall percentage who felt relations should become closer increased from 27% in 2006 to 31% in 2008. The percentage of Europeans who felt that Europe should be more independent declined from 52% in 2006 to 46% in 2008, and the largest percentage of Americans (47%) continued to feel that the partnership should be closer.

There were shared concerns among Americans and Europeans that international terrorism and the international economy should be top priortities of a new American president and European leaders. Forty-two percent of Americans identified international terrorism as one of the top two agenda priorities, followed closely by 39% who identified international economic problems. Among Europeans, 43% identified international terrorism as a top agenda item, followed by 41% who identified climate change, and 37% who identified international economic problems.

Eighty-four percent of Americans and 72% of Europeans continued to express their greatest concern about Russia's role in providing weapons to the Middle East, increases of five percentage points in the United States and seven percentage points in Europe since last year. Concern of Russia's role as an energy provider rose three percentage points in the United States to 61% and five percentage points to 64% in Europe. Sixty-nine percent of Americans and 58% of Europeans expressed concern about Russia's behavior toward its neighbors (percentages unchanged from 2007), with the highest concern felt in Poland (71%), the United Kingdom (69%), and Germany (68%).

Europeans are more willing than Americans to provide security assistance for neighboring democracies like Ukraine and Georgia (67% to 58%, respectively) and to increase support for democratic forces inside Russia (65% to 61%), but they are less willing than Americans to support restricting cooperation with Russia in international organizations (38% to 47%).

Fifty-seven percent of Europeans agreed that NATO is still essential to their country's security, an increase of four percentage points from last year. Increases were found in eight of the 12 countries surveyed, with increases of 11 percentage points in Spain, seven percentage points in Germany, and seven percentage points in France. In the United States, 59% agreed that NATO is still essential for their country's security, a figure nearly unchanged in recent years.

Pew Global Attitudes Project
Released June 2008

Favorable views of the United States have increased modestly since 2007 in 10 of 21 countries where comparative data are available. Perhaps more importantly, the polling finds many people around the world paying close attention to the U.S. presidential election. Moreover – except in countries that are extremely anti-American – those who are paying attention generally believe the next president may well change U.S. foreign policy for the better. In nearly every country surveyed, greater numbers express confidence in presidential candidate Barack Obama than in John McCain.

However, the survey of more than 24,000 people in 24 countries, conducted March 17 to April 21, finds another change in global opinion that could present a formidable challenge to the United States in the future. Around the world, people have a new concern: slumping economic conditions. And they have a familiar complaint – most think the U.S. is having a considerable influence on their economy, and it is largely seen as a negative one.

Majorities in 18 of the 24 countries surveyed describe current economic conditions in their country as bad. Assessments have worsened over the past year among countries surveyed in both this year and 2007. The median percentage rating their national economy as bad rose from 50% in 2007 to 61% in the current poll. The proportion of respondents expressing a positive view of their nation’s economy has declined in 14 of the 22 countries since last year.

The publics of two emerging Asian superpowers – China and India – remain upbeat about national economic conditions, though Indians are less positive than they were a year ago. In contrast, some of the most negative evaluations of economic conditions come from citizens of advanced Western countries. Positive views of the economy have declined sharply over the past year in Great Britain, the United States and Spain. France, where most people were already quite negative about the economy, registered a further decline; in the current survey, just 19% of the French view the national economy as good, down from 30% in 2007.

...

Despite these economic concerns, there is little evidence that the overall image of the United States has slipped further as a consequence. In fact, positive views of the United States have risen sharply in Tanzania (by 19 points) and South Korea (12 points), and by smaller but significant margins in Indonesia, China, India and Poland. Overall, opinions of the United States are most positive in South Korea, Poland, India and in the three African countries surveyed this year – Tanzania, Nigeria and South Africa.

However, positive opinions of the United States have declined by 11 points in Japan – a traditional U.S. ally – and in neighboring Mexico (by nine points). The image of the United States also remains overwhelmingly negative in most of the predominantly Muslim countries surveyed, though no more so than in recent years.

Fewer than a quarter of respondents express positive opinions of the United States in Egypt (22%), Jordan (19%), Pakistan (19%) and Turkey (12%). Large majorities in Turkey and Pakistan say they think of the United States as “more of an enemy” rather than as “more of a friend” (70% in Turkey; 60% in Pakistan). In Lebanon, 80% of Shia Muslims consider the United States to be more of an enemy.

...

Countries and regions included in the survey, March-April 2008:
The Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, United States
Europe: Britain, France, Germany, Poland, Russia, Spain,
Middle East: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey
Asia/Pacific: Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, South Korea
Africa: Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania
Data based on national samples except in Brazil, China, India, and Pakistan where the samples are disproportionately urban.

Worldwide Publics Support Media Freedom and Oppose Internet Limits
PIPA/WorldPublicOpinion.org. Released May 2008

A new poll of nations around the world finds worldwide support for the principle of media freedom and broad opposition to government having the right to limit access to the Internet. In many countries people want more media freedom than they have now, but in many Muslim countries and in Russia, there is substantial support for regulation of news or ideas that the government thinks could be politically destabilizing....

Interviews were conducted in 20 nations, though in three of them not all questions were asked. Those nations interviewed include most of the world's largest nations --China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Russia--as well as Argentina, Azerbaijan, Britain, Egypt, France, Iran, Jordan, Mexico, Peru, Poland, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, and the Palestinian Territories. These nations represent 59 percent of the world population....

Presented the issue of Internet censorship, a majority in all but two of the countries that were asked this question say that "people should have the right to read whatever is on the Internet." On average six in ten endorse full access while three in ten say that the government should have the right to "prevent people from having access to some things on the Internet."

In China, a country whose Internet censorship policies have received a great deal of international attention, 71 percent of the public say that "people should have the right to read whatever is on the Internet:" only 21 percent of Chinese endorse their government's right to limit access.

The only two publics to not endorse full access are Jordan and Iran. In Jordan 63 percent support government regulation of the Internet as do 44 percent in Iran (32% favor unlimited access)....

The broader principle of media freedom gets very robust support. Majorities in all nations asked say that it is important "for the media to be free to publish news and ideas without government control."

On average 82 percent say it is "important," with 53 percent saying it is "very important." In no country do more than 29 percent say that media freedom is "not very important" or "not important at all." ...

Presented with a choice between an argument in favor of media freedom without government control and the argument that "government should have the right to prevent the media from publishing things it thinks will be politically destabilizing," majorities or pluralities in 12 publics polled feel that that the risk of political instability does not justify government control.

However in six predominantly Muslim countries and in Russia this scenario prompts considerable support for government control. Majorities in Jordan (66%), Palestine (59%), and Indonesia (56%) support government control of the media when the government thinks that publishing some things might be politically destabilizing. In Iran a plurality (45%) supports government control under such circumstances (31% feel the media should be able to publish freely). Views are divided in Russia (45% to 44%), Egypt (49% to 52%), and Turkey (45% to 42%)....

The poll of 18,122 respondents was conducted by WorldPublicOpinion.org, a collaborative research project involving research centers from around the world and managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. Polling was conducted between January 10 and March 20, 2008.

Europeans and Americans desire closer relations.
PIPA/WorldPublicOpinion.org for the British Council. Released March 2008

A poll of seven European countries, Canada, and the United States finds widespread support for closer relations between Europe and the United States. However, currently, cooperation between Europe and North America is seen as largely ineffective and overall transatlantic feelings are fairly cool, especially on the side of the Europeans. Yet Americans, Canadians and Europeans hold surprising consensus on the issues of greatest importance for their countries to address together....

Americans overwhelmingly favor closer relations with Europe (91%). On average among all European countries polled, 62 percent favor closer European-American relations. This includes large majorities of Poles (77%), Germans (75%), Irish (70%), and Spaniards (67%). More modest majorities of Turks (53%) and Britons (51%) favor closer relations. The one exception is the French. Only a minority (39%) of the French favor closer relations, while a modest majority (53%) is opposed. Most Canadians (61%) favor closer European-American relations as well....

Asked how effectively Europe and North America are working together on nine different areas, people give a generally negative assessment. On average majorities give negative assessments of such cooperation in eradicating poverty (65%), combating climate change (58%), managing international migration and immigration (53%). In just one area is there a predominantly positive view. On business and trade half 47% give a positive rating. Views lean negative for cooperation in conducting effective peacekeeping missions, protecting human rights, fighting global terrorism, and linking educational institutions and individuals. Views are mixed but lean positive on transatlantic cooperation to fight killer diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria.....

European views of the US are considerably cooler than Americans views of the EU. Asked to rate US influence overall 48% of Europeans give a negative rating and just 42% give a positive rating. Those with the largest number giving a positive rating are Poland (58%), France (53%) and Britain (49%). Those with the largest number giving a negative rating are Germany (64%), Turkey (55%), and Spain (52%). Canadians are also predominantly negative (55%).

Europeans and Canadians give the EU extremely positive ratings. Asked to assess its overall influence, 68% of the whole sample give positive ratings. Extremely large majorities give positive ratings in Poland (80%), Spain (80%), Ireland (67%), and France (74%). Only one country has just a plurality--Turkey with 47% positive and 33% negative.

The poll was sponsored by the British Council, the UK's international cultural relations organization, as part of the Transatlantic Network 2020 program, designed to foster greater dialogue and problem-solving among emerging leaders in North America and Europe. The poll was developed and analyzed by GlobeScan together with the Program on International Policy Attitudes. The poll was conducted between 7 January and 22 January 2008. Sample size in most countries was 500, with larger samples in the United States (2,001) and United Kingdom (1,019) giving the findings a margin of error of plus or minus 3-4.5 percent.

Large Majorities in Many Countries Favor Equal Rights for Women.
PIPA/WorldPublicOpinion.org. March 2008

According to a new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 16 nations from around the world there is a widespread consensus that it is important for "women to have full equality of rights" and most say it is very important. This is true in Muslim countries as well as Western countries.

In nearly all countries most people perceive that in their lifetime women have gained greater equality. Nonetheless, large majorities would like their government and the United Nations to take an active role in preventing discrimination....

An overwhelming majority of people around the world say that it is important for "women to have full equality of rights compared to men." Large majorities in all nations polled take this position ranging from 60 percent in India to 98 percent in Mexico and Britain. On average across the 16 nations 86 percent say women's equality is important, with 59 percent saying it is very important.

Attitudes vary about whether such equality is very important or somewhat important. In seven countries large majorities say it is very important--Indonesia (71%), France (75%), China (76%), US (77%), Turkey (80%), Britain (89%), and Mexico (89%). Smaller percentages say it is very important in Egypt (31%), Russia (35%), India (41%), South Korea (43%), Ukraine (44%), and Iran (44%).

Support for equal rights is also robust in all Muslim counties. Large majorities say it is important in Iran (78%), Azerbaijan (85%), Egypt (90%), Indonesia (91%), Turkey (91%), and the Palestinian territories (93%).

The poll of 14,896 respondents was conducted by WorldPublicOpinion.org, a collaborative research project involving research centers from around the world and managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. Interviews were conducted in 16 nations including most of the largest countries: Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, France, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, the Palestinian territories, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, and the US. The nations included represent 58 percent of the world population.

Unease about economy and globalization.
PIPA/WorldPublicOpinion.org for the BBC. February 2008

In 22 out of 34 countries around the world, the weight of opinion is that "economic globalization, including trade and investment," is growing too quickly, according to a BBC World Service Poll of 34,500 people. On average one out of two (50%) hold this view, while 35 percent say globalization is growing too slowly.

In the G-7 countries ... an average of 57 percent say globalization is growing too quickly.

Related to this unease is an even stronger view that the benefits and burdens of "the economic developments of the last few years" have not been shared fairly. Majorities in 27 out of 34 countries hold this view - on average 64 percent.

In developed countries, those who have this view of unfairness are more likely to say that globalization is growing too quickly - especially in France, Italy, Spain, South Korea, Japan, and Germany (and to a lesser extent Britain and the US).

In contrast, in some developing countries, those who perceive such unfairness are more likely to say globalization is proceeding too slowly. These include Turkey, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil, Kenya, Mexico and the countries of Central America. Only 19 percent overall say globalization is growing much too quickly, while 32 percent say it is growing a bit too quickly....

In total 34,528 citizens in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Ghana, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, UAE, and the United States were interviewed face-to-face or by telephone between October 31, 2007 and January 25, 2008. Polling was conducted for the BBC World Service by the international polling firm GlobeScan and its research partners in each country. In 16 of the 34 countries, the sample was limited to major urban areas. The margin of error per country ranges from +/-2.4 to 4.4 percent.

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