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

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.

CommentaryDecember 4, 2013

India ‘More Important’ Than China As an Ally to U.S.

While Americans are more open to economic engagement than they have been in the past, they also continue to exhibit a wariness about refocusing U.S. policy toward Asia and have misgivings about accepting more high-skilled immigrants.

CommentaryDecember 4, 2013

Downward-Facing Obama

Foreign policy, once a relative strength for President Obama, has now become a target of substantial criticism among both the general public and foreign policy experts.

CommentaryDecember 4, 2013

Most Americans Want Washington to Mind Its Own Business Overseas

Americans’ willingness to take on new international burdens is at an all-time low, and it is not clear that a rebalancing of U.S. interests and engagement toward East, Southeast and South Asia has the full support of the American people.

CommentaryNovember 21, 2013

Americans and Israelis Don’t See Eye to Eye on Iran

As negotiators convene in Geneva in an effort to reach agreement on curbing Iran’s nuclear program, the American people are supportive of a deal, even though they are fairly cynical about the likelihood of it working.

CommentaryNovember 19, 2013

U.S. Image on Roller Coaster Ride Since Cold War

America’s rise in the 50 years since President Kennedy was killed has been far from trouble-free – and America’s international standing since the fall of its great Cold War rival has reflected the ups, downs and uncertainties of the past five decades.

CommentaryNovember 6, 2013

Is Tide Turning Over Immigration Views?

Even as the immigration policy debate continues to intensify, the issue looks like it might be about to take another twist as the sharp decline in the U.S. population of unauthorized immigrants that accompanied the 2007-2009 recession bottoms out. Americans now appear ready for a new approach to immigration policy.

CommentaryNovember 4, 2013

Trading Privacy for Security

Americans believe that the National Security Agency may have gone too far in spying on U.S. allies. They also think that the NSA has intruded on personal privacy in scooping up massive amounts of phone calls and emails, but don’t expect to see citizens taking to the streets.

CommentaryNovember 4, 2013

While focus on foreign problems lessens, U.S. public keeps its eye on China

While the American public increasingly has been looking inward after years of economic stress at home and a decade of wars abroad, they have a keen awareness of the challenges posed to the U.S. by China in the superpower competition between the two countries.

CommentaryOctober 23, 2013

Chinese unease growing at flip side of progress

After a remarkable run of economic expansion that has lifted tens of millions out of poverty, the Chinese public is waking up to the side effects of progress.

CommentaryOctober 16, 2013

How West Sees Iran’s Nuclear Program

As American, European, Russian, Chinese and Iranian negotiators jockey in Geneva over ending the West’s economic sanctions on Tehran in return for a dismantling of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, European and U.S. publics are sending negotiators on both sides a clear message: they oppose Iran having nuclear armaments.

CommentaryOctober 14, 2013

Next Year in Jerusalem

As Washington ramps up its efforts to get the Israelis and Palestinians to fashion a lasting settlement of their differences, there is no uniform American Jewish viewpoint on the peace process.

CommentaryOctober 1, 2013

Is Democracy Dead in the Birthplace of the Arab Spring?

In the wake of rising public unrest, Tunisia’s government has announced it will step down and begin talks with the opposition about forming an interim administration in the run-up to new parliamentary and presidential elections.

CommentarySeptember 20, 2013

Occupy Bundestag

Germans’ concern about the gap between the rich and the poor suggests inequality is likely to be on Germans’ minds when they cast their ballots September 22. While recent surveys of voters’ intentions do not indicate such worries will necessarily influence the outcome of the election, polling data suggests measures to address inequality may be high on the agenda of the new German government.

CommentarySeptember 16, 2013

What Water’s Edge?

It is not clear that such high-minded bipartisanship has ever driven Americans’ views on foreign policy. What is notable today, however, is the degree of such partisanship and the accelerating pace of this polarization on key international policy issues.

CommentarySeptember 13, 2013

Syria’s Neighbors Worry about Extremism, Too

The prospect of a U.S. military strike on Syria has focused new attention on the role and influence of Islamic extremist groups – including Jabhat al-Nusra, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and jihadists from Chechnya, Pakistan and other countries – opposing the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

CommentarySeptember 12, 2013

Shift in Public Support for UN-backed Military Action

While UN approval might provide legal justification for a military strike against Syria, it is not at all clear that it would afford the American government and its European allies with political cover at home.

CommentarySeptember 9, 2013

Action against Syria Lacks Popular Backing

In the debate over whether the U.S. and one or more of its NATO allies should launch a military strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad over its alleged use of chemical weapons, much has been made of the need for multilateral sanction for such an effort, either by the U.N. Security Council or NATO.

CommentarySeptember 5, 2013

Wane, Wax, Whatever

In his bilateral discussions with other world leaders at the G-20 Summit, President Barack Obama will be pressing for their support for his proposed military action against Syria’s chemical weapons capability. But his challenge may be less with heads of state than it is with their populations, including his own.

CommentaryAugust 30, 2013

Does public care about UN blessing over Syria?

In the debate over whether the United States and one or more of its NATO allies should launch a military strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over its alleged use of chemical weapons, much has been made of the need for multilateral sanction for such an effort, either by the U.N. Security Council or NATO.

CommentaryAugust 11, 2013

Reached middle-class status? Start complaining about it

In China, one of the greatest economic transformations in history is taking place, as millions move from poverty into the middle class.

CommentaryAugust 6, 2013

China finding superpower path no cakewalk

China’s power is growing, but as it assumes a more prominent role on the world stage, its global reputation is beset by a host of challenges.

CommentaryAugust 5, 2013

Asia’s view of China – mostly wary, but Japan most of all

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s call for high-level talks with China comes at a time when Japanese attitudes toward China have soured precipitously as tensions have grown due to disputes over trade, geopolitics and history.

CommentaryJuly 26, 2013

America’s International Image Slipping

In the fifth year of the Obama presidency, the United States’ image remains strong around the world compared with the last years of the administration of President George W. Bush. Still, pro-America sentiment is slipping.

CommentaryJuly 19, 2013

Is Abe ready for Japanese expectations?

Japanese voters head to the polls elect members of the upper house of Japan’s national legislature, and the ballot is shaping up as a referendum on the seven-month tenure of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government.

CommentaryJuly 11, 2013

American International Engagement on the Rocks

Getting the American public’s attention, let alone commitment to deal with international issues is as challenging as it has ever been in the modern era. The depth and duration of the public’s disengagement these days goes well beyond the periodic spikes in isolationist sentiment that have been observed over the past 50 years.

CommentaryJune 26, 2013

Obama Ahead of U.S. Public on Climate Change

The Obama administration is stepping up its game in dealing with climate change. Such moves echo widespread public concern about global warming outside the United States.

CommentaryJune 11, 2013

Australians Happy – But Not with Their Government

With the September general election approaching, polls show the government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard trailing the opposition by a growing margin, despite the fact that Australians are among the most satisfied publics in the world.

CommentaryMay 28, 2013

World Worried about Inequality

Income inequality has been growing at an increasingly rapid pace. And publics around the world – and especially in Europe – are taking note.

CommentaryMay 27, 2013

Abenomics’ Challenge: The Japanese Attitude

Government must bridge gap between personal, national expectations