Analysis and research-driven commentary tied to poll findings and developments in the news
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Abenomics’ Challenge: The Japanese Attitude
Government must bridge gap between personal, national expectations
The New Sick Man of Europe
Today, it is the European Union itself that is the sick man of Europe. Efforts over the past half-century to create a more united continent are now the principal casualties of the ongoing eurozone crisis. This creates yet another complication for European leaders as they attempt to craft a way forward in dealing with the economic and political consequences of the ‘Great Recession’.
Threat to the EU: German Exceptionalism Poses a Challenge
The euro crisis has exposed a range of intra-European problems long hidden from the harsh light of day. Not the least of these is German exceptionalism. Over the last two generations one goal of the European project has been to narrow the differences between Germany and the rest of Europe. But recent economic difficulties have only amplified those dissimilarities.
Europeans Grow Dissatisfied with the Inequities of the Economic System
A major casualty of the euro crisis has been Europeans’ faith in the fairness of their economic system. In what is now the fifth year in the wake of the Great Recession, Europeans believe that inequality is now a major problem in their societies and think that things will only get worse.