January 24, 2005

Global Opinion: The Spread of Anti-Americanism

Read chapterThe numbers paint a sobering picture. Just a quarter of the French approve of U.S. policies, and the situation is only slightly better in Japan and Germany. Most people around the world worry that U.S. global influence is expanding, and majorities in many countries say America’s strong military presence actually increases the chances for war.

The latest survey on America’s tarnished global image? No, those findings are from a poll conducted by Newsweek — in 1983. The United States has been down the “ugly American” road before, saddled with a bad image abroad and unable to draw much in the way of international support, even from close allies.

But anti-Americanism is deeper and broader now than at any time in modern history. It is most acute in the Muslim world, but it spans the globe — from Europe to Asia, from South America to Africa. And while much of the animus is aimed directly at President Bush and his policies, especially the war in Iraq, this new global hardening of attitudes amounts to something larger than a thumbs down on the current occupant of the White House.

This report, available as a PDF, is a chapter from the book — Trends 2005 — produced by the Pew Research Center.