Analysis and research-driven commentary tied to poll findings and developments in the news

CommentaryJune 15, 2014

Is America dangerously divided?

Republicans and Democrats in the United States are more divided along ideological lines, and the resulting political acrimony is deeper and more extensive, than at any point in recent U.S. history.

CommentaryJune 3, 2014

Is Ukraine More Like Latvia or Greece?

Ukraine will be at the top of the agenda when the leaders of the G7 advanced economies meet in Brussels, and their deliberations are likely to focus on what their governments can do to bolster the newly elected Ukrainian government in the face of continued violence by pro-Russian sympathizers within the country.

CommentaryMay 30, 2014

Survey Research and International Affairs

When done well, surveys give the public a voice and ensure that the beliefs and opinions of ordinary citizens are heard in debates about important political, economic, and social topics.

CommentaryMay 26, 2014

Why EU Election Results Are No Surprise

Europe’s voters have spoken – and what they had to say has shaken capitals across the continent as far right and some far left parties made significant gains in elections to the European parliament.

CommentaryMay 23, 2014

Egypt Isn’t Stable

Former Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is certain to emerge victorious. While international observers and his Islamist rivals will question the legitimacy of his victory, Sisi will emerge from the vote in control of the Egyptian state.

CommentaryMay 9, 2014

Americans Simply Don’t Care About Peace in the Middle East

No one said a Middle East peace deal was going to be easy. Brokering such an agreement has been a lost cause for what’s now a long line of U.S. presidents. As always, Israelis, Palestinians, and Americans have begun to point fingers over who is to blame for the recent breakdown.

CommentaryMay 2, 2014

Americans want to steer clear of Ukraine crisis

As the crisis in Ukraine deepens, Americans back the kind of economic sanctions against Russia recently announced by the Obama administration. But even as allegations mount of covert Russian intervention in Ukraine, a war-weary American public doesn’t back getting tougher on Moscow.

CommentaryApril 24, 2014

Who’s Down with TPP?

Elements of both the Obama administration’s signature trade initiatives, while generally backed by the public, have been subject to criticism and face an uncertain future on Capitol Hill, where Congress will eventually have to approve any final agreements.

CommentaryApril 10, 2014

Despite Protectionist Image, Americans Want Freer Trade with Japan

Broad American support for international commerce, for increased trade with Japan and for the TPP suggests the political climate in Washington for congressional consideration of an eventual TPP deal may not be as negative as it might appear given the current negotiating deadlock over details of the trade agreement.

CommentaryApril 4, 2014

China or America? Indians Pick U.S.

As Indians head to the polls over the next six weeks, their country again finds itself in a world with two preeminent powers: this time, China and the United States.

CommentaryApril 1, 2014

Worry, but Wait

Russia’s annexation of Crimea and China’s territorial ambitions in the East and South China Seas are a stark reminder that balance of power politics are alive and well in the 21st century, long after some pundits dismissed them as relics of a bygone era.

CommentaryMarch 21, 2014

Turkey’s Twitter Block and Global Internet Freedom

Vladimir Putin has never been a fan of a free press or open public debates, but the Ukraine crisis has provided the Kremlin with a new favorite target for cracking down even more harshly on political expression: cyberspace.

CommentaryMarch 12, 2014

Will Ukraine Crisis Hasten Decline of Russia’s Global Image?

Regardless of what happens in the coming days and weeks in Ukraine, it is already apparent that the crisis has taken its toll on some key players in the court of international opinion: Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Western solidarity and U.S. President Barack Obama.

CommentaryMarch 12, 2014

Let’s Sit This One Out

As Europe and the United States struggle to come up with a unified response to Russia’s military encroachment in Ukraine, one of their biggest challenges may be to convince their publics to take any strong action at all.

CommentaryFebruary 27, 2014

Everything’s Coming Up Modi

The Indian public would prefer Narendra Modi’s right-of-center, Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party rather than the ruling left-of-center Indian National Congress party to lead the next Indian government.

CommentaryFebruary 27, 2014

Indians Dissatisfied with Direction of Country

Indians are dissatisfied with the way things are going in their country today, and they would prefer the Hindu nationalist opposition Bharatiya Janata Party to lead the next Indian government, rather than the current governing coalition led by the left-of-center Indian National Congress party.

CommentaryFebruary 6, 2014

Demographic Clocks Ticking All across Asia

By Bruce Stokes, Director of Global Economic Attitudes, Pew Research Center Special to Nikkei East Asia’s demographic clock is ticking, and it’s loudest in Japan. But by the middle of the century South Korea may face an equal aging challenge, with China not far behind. Meanwhile, few East Asians are confident of an adequate standard […]

CommentaryFebruary 3, 2014

The Cost of Growing Older

By 2050, rapidly graying populations are likely to impose an unprecedented fiscal burden on the United States, many European countries, Japan, and South Korea.

CommentaryJanuary 30, 2014

What the Graying World Can Teach America

Fiscal and societal burdens of an aging America are far from unique; Europe and increasingly much of Asia face a far more challenging future in which there is a mismatch between demographics and slowing economic growth.

CommentaryJanuary 27, 2014

The Limited Allure of Extremism

If recent history is any guide, extremists’ current momentum will likely be followed by a strong backlash. Indeed, generally speaking, the more people are exposed to extremist violence and al-Qaeda-style rule, the less they like it.

CommentaryJanuary 16, 2014

Americans Want to Turn Away From World’s Problems

In 2013 there is an unprecedented lack of support for American engagement with the rest of the world. The public suggests that the nation does too much to solve world problems.

CommentaryJanuary 14, 2014

U.S. Isolationism Isn’t Protectionism

New polling data showing that the American public is turning inward, preoccupied with domestic affairs and less interested in international engagement, is not evidence of a rise in U.S. economic protectionism, with its grave consequences for global business.

CommentaryJanuary 6, 2014

Killer Elite

The disconnect in perception and priorities between experts and the general public reflects the inevitable tension between policy and politics in any democratic country; but it also comes with an often contradictory and confusing mixed message to foreigners about America’s intentions on the world stage.

CommentaryJanuary 3, 2014

World Still Downbeat on Economic Prospects

The widely shared disconnect between the world’s modest recovery from the Great Recession and the public mood is testimony to the depth of the downturn and the persistence of unemployment.

CommentaryDecember 20, 2013

Americans Deeply Divided on Foreign Policy

With national debates looming next year over Iran, Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, trade and China, continued partisan discord is probably unavoidable. What may be different this time is the shear depth of that partisan divide.

CommentaryDecember 18, 2013

T-Tipped

As free trade negotiations with Europe proceed, Americans seem predisposed toward trade liberalization, especially with the European Union. But concerns about the impact of trade on wages and jobs and a generational pivot toward Asia suggest that TTIP is not a slam dunk.

CommentaryDecember 17, 2013

A Not So “Special Relationship”

On discreet foreign policy issues of topical bilateral concern, there is often general agreement on broad issues between the British and American publics and disagreement on specifics.

CommentaryDecember 17, 2013

Public Opinion May Restrict Obama’s Second-Term Foreign Policy

Recent developments regarding Iran, Syria and China suggest that President Barack Obama, like his predecessors, will concentrate more on international issues as his presidency winds down. The American public, however, may not let him do so.

CommentaryDecember 5, 2013

NSA Spying: A Threat to U.S. Interests?

Revelations by Edward Snowden of U.S. National Security Agency spying have exposed both similarities and differences in public attitudes toward privacy among Europeans and Americans.

CommentaryDecember 4, 2013

Americans See Declining U.S. Prestige

The American public thinks that the United States does too much to try to solve the world’s problems, and increasing percentages want the U.S. to “mind its own business internationally” and pay more attention to problems at home.