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

Jan. 28, 2013

Is Obama Out of Step with America on Foreign Policy?

The U.S. president’s inaugural address is a speech heard and read around the world, and is interpreted as a sign of America’s intentions going forward. To separate lofty ambitions from more practical realities, it needs to be interpreted in the context of U.S. public opinion.

Jan. 28, 2013

The U.S. Fiscal Cliff Redux

At the turn of the year the United States avoided careening over a fiscal cliff – which would have triggered recession-inducing automatic tax increases and spending cuts – by passing legislation that raised some taxes, but did little to cut spending.

Jan. 24, 2013

The Tahrir Square Legacy: Egyptians Want Democracy, a Better Economy, and a Major Role for Islam

Two years after Egyptians first poured into Cairo’s Tahrir Square chanting “Down with Mubarak” the legacy of the Arab Spring remains uncertain. Polling since the uprising shows that Egyptians want democratic rights and institutions, a major role for Islam in political life, and an improved economy – a challenging set of demands for the new cadre of Egyptian leaders.

Jan. 15, 2013

Public Attitudes Toward the Next Social Contract

Recent deliberations in Washington have triggered a national debate about key elements of the social safety net. Why the U.S. invests relatively less in its social safety net than many other countries reflect Americans’ conflicted, partisan and often contradictory views on fairness, inequality, the role and responsibility of government and individuals in society and the efficacy of government action.

Jan. 10, 2013

2013: A Fateful Year

The year ahead promises both challenges and opportunities for transatlantic relations. The next 12 months could prove to be consequential for both security and economic ties between Europe and the United States.

Jan. 4, 2013

Indians Support Gender Equality But Still Give Men Edge in Workplace, Higher Education

The recent gang rape and killing of a young woman in New Delhi – and the subsequent protests – have focused worldwide attention on gender issues in India. A 2010 survey that examined attitudes about gender around the world sheds some light on how public opinion in India compares to the other 21 nations surveyed.

Dec. 28, 2012

What Americans Want in 2013

In 2013, downbeat domestic attitudes coupled with reticence about international engagement poses challenges for a world that still may need a strong United States.

Dec. 14, 2012

Americans on Middle East turmoil: Keep us out of it

The pace of change in the Middle East – in Syria, Egypt, Palestine and Israel – is accelerating as 2012 draws to a close. But the American people are not paying attention and are deeply skeptical of greater U.S. engagement in a corner of the world that looks increasingly unstable.

Dec. 10, 2012

U.S.-China Economic Relations in the Wake of the U.S. Election

What does Obama’s return to the White House portend for U.S.-China economic relations? The U.S. public wants Washington to ratchet up the pressure on Beijing, but history suggests that there are geo-political constraints to doing so.

Dec. 4, 2012

Anti-Americanism Down in Europe, but a Values Gap Persists

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.

Nov. 26, 2012

The Day After: Obama Triumph Sobered by Unmet Global Expectations

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.

Nov. 21, 2012

Post-election America still divided

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.

Nov. 9, 2012

Obama’s Global Challenges

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.

Nov. 8, 2012

Transatlantic Relations in Obama’s Second Term

The re-election of Barack Obama as the next president of the United States has ramifications—good, bad and indifferent—for transatlantic relations.

Nov. 7, 2012

Obama has a mandate. Sort of.

Obama now has a mandate to govern. But his mandate domestically, and internationally, on specific issues is far from clear.

Nov. 1, 2012

American, Chinese Publics Increasingly Wary of the Other

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.

Oct. 22, 2012

The Whole World is Watching

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.

Oct. 16, 2012

China’s public getting more negative about the world

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.

Oct. 16, 2012

China inequality causes unease

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.

Sep. 24, 2012

Russians Have Their Own Ideas of Democracy

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.

Sep. 21, 2012

How China became the US election bogeyman

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.

Sep. 19, 2012

Wait, You Still Don’t Like Us?

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.

Sep. 18, 2012

How Americans See China

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.

Sep. 7, 2012

Have Americans Turned Inward?

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.

Sep. 6, 2012

U.S. Voters Mull the Economy

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.

Aug. 27, 2012

Does World Want Romney or Obama?

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.

Aug. 9, 2012

World to America: We want soft, not hard power

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.

Aug. 3, 2012

Muslims Want Democracy

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.

Jul. 26, 2012

The World Is Losing Faith in Hard Work

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.

Jul. 12, 2012

Emerging Economies – Rich And Confident

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.