Europeans generally reacted positively to President Obama’s re-election, just as they did four years ago. But despite Obama’s re-election at home and continued popularity in Europe, his presidency has not closed the long-running transatlantic values gap on issues such as the use of military force, religion, and individualism.
Analysis and research-driven commentary tied to poll findings and developments in the news
Much of the world cheered the re-election of U.S. president Barack Obama. But the president’s honeymoon may be short lived. Disappointment with Obama’s first term foreign policy may challenge both his popularity and his ability to present a positive image of the United States around the globe.
The election is over. The voters have spoken. But those who thought that a clear-cut verdict in the recent presidential election would finally break the partisan deadlock in Washington may find themselves disappointed.
American elections are consequential events and President Obama’s reelection is likely to bring to a head a number of long-smoldering economic and strategic concerns. His biggest challenge may be to bridge the divides among the American people and with America’s allies.
The re-election of Barack Obama as the next president of the United States has ramifications—good, bad and indifferent—for transatlantic relations.
Obama now has a mandate to govern. But his mandate domestically, and internationally, on specific issues is far from clear.
As economic and geopolitical competition grows between the U.S. and China, Americans say they want to get tougher with China on economic issues and the Chinese hold a more negative view of relations with the U.S.
Heading into the third and final presidential election debate, few Americans believe that international concerns are among the most important problems facing the country. However, the public has definite views on international issues. And there are some sharp differences between Republicans and Democrats.
Chinese views about other major nations have become more negative in recent years. In particular, attitudes toward the U.S. have cooled – ratings for President Obama have declined, and fewer Chinese now describe their country’s relationship with the U.S. as one of cooperation.
Despite more than 90% of Chinese feeling that they enjoy a higher standard of living than their parents, concerns over corruption, social inequality and food safety are growing.
The Kremlin’s demand that the U.S. Agency for International Development cease its activities in Russia follows months of accusations by Vladimir Putin that recent anti-government protests in Russia are the result of meddling by the U.S. and other Western governments. However, many Russians may not be convinced that such meddling is a fact.
With about half of Americans saying China’s rise is a major threat to the U.S., fears about China have fed into the U.S. presidential campaign. Overall, Republicans are more concerned than Democrats about China.
While the image of the United States has improved throughout many parts of the world during Barack Obama's presidency, negative views of America remain stubbornly persistent in key Muslim countries. Much of this animosity is due to continuing concerns about U.S. power and widespread opposition to major elements of American foreign policy.
Most Americans describe relations between the U.S. and China as good, but most consider China a competitor rather than an enemy or partner. When asked which country represents the greatest danger to the U.S., more Americans volunteer China than name any other country, including Iran and North Korea.
At a time when the U.S. is still at war in Afghanistan, when in the eyes of foreigners U.S. stature as the hegemonic power is in question, and when a euro crisis could derail the American economy’s tenuous recovery, voters are turning inward. Nevertheless, when American national security is seen as threatened by Iran or terrorism, voters remain aggressively internationalist.
Public opinion surveys show that economic issues are a foremost concern for American voters. Recent history suggests that voters’ choice on November 6 will have implications not just for the economic health of the U.S. but also the global economy.
At the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, Americans will notionally be choosing their candidates for president of the United States. The world’s citizens get no say in this choice. Nevertheless, people outside the U.S. have definite opinions about Obama and some of the key issues in the campaign.
With less than three months to go in the U.S. presidential election, the candidates’ debate over America’s place in the world can only be expected to escalate. Recent public opinion surveys suggest that people outside the United States question American hard power and increasingly embrace U.S. soft power. Whoever is president in 2013, the success abroad of his foreign policy may depend on achieving the right balance in the exercise of American hard and soft power.
Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, analysts, policymakers, and pundits have debated whether democracy will actually take root in the Middle East. One thing, however, is clear: People in Arab nations want democracy, and they don’t just support a vague notion of democracy – they want to live in a country that has specific rights and institutions.
Add faith in the work ethic and in capitalism to the lengthening list of casualties from the Great Recession. Four years after the Lehman Brothers’ fiasco and the ensuing global economic downturn, the idea that effort in a competitive economy can lead to success is seriously questioned in a number of major economies, including Japan, Russia and Greece, especially among those who have suffered the most.
The emerging economies account for an increasing share of the globe’s billionaires. But widespread public attitudes can wield far more influence over an economy than the wealth of a few hundred people. While people polled in the US and Europe are pessimistic about their future prospects, citizens of the emerging economies, especially China and Brazil, are optimistic about their own national economies and personal wealth.
More than a year after the 2011 uprisings, Arab publics are concerned about the economy, but hopeful about democracy.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refusal to dig deep to help indebted eurozone countries is commonly explained by two feelings attributed to German voters – an ingrained fear of inflation and a reluctance to bail out those in trouble. But polling suggests the picture is more complex.
The declaration of Mohamed Morsi as Egypt’s first freely elected president marks a major milestone for a country that until February 2011 had spent nearly three decades under the authoritarian rule of Hosni Mubarak. At the same time, for significant numbers of Egyptians, Morsi’s relatively narrow victory over former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq has the potential to raise questions about Islam’s role in society.
On the eve of the first presidential election of the post-Mubarak era, Egyptians remain hopeful about the future of their country, and they strongly desire both an improved economy and the democratic freedoms they were denied under the previous regime.
U.S. humanitarian aid helped improve America’s image in Japan following the devastating March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. However, recent examples from Indonesia and Pakistan show that the impact of disaster relief on ratings for the U.S. has its limits.
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, views about American power have changed, as economic issues have trumped security concerns. Today, many see the U.S. as a great power in decline.
In the past decade, anti-Americanism grew around the world. In sharp contrast, today America is seen as on its way to losing its status as the dominant global superpower.
Judging the Chinese appetite for democracy is not easy, but polling suggests China may not be ripe for the kind of uprisings seen throughout the Middle East.
Pro-democracy movements in Tunisia and Egypt recall the wave of democratization that took place two decades ago in Eastern Europe. The experience of Eastern Europe is a useful reminder that public enthusiasm for democracy is not guaranteed as political change extends over years and decades.