Commentary May. 1, 2013

How Mexicans See America

Mexican approval ratings of the U.S. are at their highest point since 2009. This boost in America’s image comes amidst rising expectations that Washington may soon reform U.S. immigration laws. The question now is whether the two countries can build on the promise fostered by the proposed immigration policy and cement some of the progress that appears to have been made.

Survey Reports Apr. 29, 2013

U.S. Image Rebounds in Mexico

Fewer See Better Life North of the Border, but 35% Would Migrate

Commentary Apr. 3, 2013

Americans Divided over Immigration Reform

The immigration debate in Washington is likely to heat up in the weeks ahead. Indians, Chinese and others either hoping to migrate to America (even those with advanced skills) or those with loved ones living illegally and precariously within the United States should realize that despite largely supportive rhetoric emanating from both Congress and the White House, the U.S. public remains divided over immigration reform.

Commentary Apr. 1, 2013

Americans’ Support for TPP Remains Untested

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s announcement that Japan will join negotiations to create a Trans-Pacific Partnership with the U.S. and other Pacific Basin nations won early support from the Japanese people, according to snap surveys following his statement. The decision was also welcomed in official circles in Washington, D.C., where the Obama administration has long supported Japan becoming party to the talks.

Commentary Mar. 20, 2013

What Japanese and Americans Think about Each Other

Japan’s decision to join negotiations to create a Trans-Pacific Partnership with the United States and other Pacific nations reflects, in part, the sea change in public opinion that has transformed U.S.-Japan relations. The upcoming TPP negotiations will be contentious. But the political context in which these talks will take place is far more supportive than ever before.

Commentary Mar. 19, 2013

Obama’s Israel Challenge

Criticized by some for being insufficiently pro-Israel during his first term, and dogged by relatively low ratings in Israel, President Obama travels there this week to deliver a major address in Jerusalem. The Obama administration can only hope this speech is more warmly received among Israelis than his last high-profile address in the region at Cairo University in June 2009.

Commentary Mar. 13, 2013

What Chinese Are Worried About

When incoming Chinese President Xi Jinping takes office, he will be dealing with a public that is increasingly concerned about issues beyond simple economic growth. Such problems will provide some daunting challenges for the new president and his team over the next few years.

Commentary Mar. 4, 2013

Will Budget Cuts = Isolationism?

The forced budget cuts, known in Washington as sequestration, are now in force. These reductions in defense spending, anti-terrorism activities, foreign aid and the budget for the State Department will shrink the U.S. footprint around the world, with consequences for the projection of both U.S. hard and soft power.

Feb. 22, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry’s Travel Itinerary

  John Kerry will take his first trip abroad as Secretary of State from February 24 to March 6, travelling to Europe and the Middle East. In Europe, he will visit Britain, Germany, France and Italy, where he will discuss bilateral relations as well as the ongoing conflicts in Mali and Syria. America’s image remains […]

Commentary Feb. 22, 2013

American Star Power Still Rules the Globe

Surveys consistently show that movies – and more broadly, American popular culture – are a strong suit of U.S. soft power. And, while studio executives spend considerably more time thinking about box office returns than public diplomacy, Tinseltown is actually pretty effective at nudging America’s international image in a positive direction.

Commentary Feb. 19, 2013

The Public Supports a Transatlantic Trade Pact – For Now

The ultimate public verdict on a U.S.-EU trade and investment agreement has yet to be rendered, but on the eve of such negotiations, both Americans and Europeans seem disposed to try.

Commentary Feb. 18, 2013

How America and Japan See the World

The U.S.-Japan relationship has gone through numerous ups and downs in the last few decades and Americans’ fears that Japan Inc. will overwhelm them have subsided. Yet challenges remain: how to jointly deal with China, North Korea and Iran, and whether Tokyo will join with other Asian governments and Washington in creating a transpacific free trade area.

Commentary Feb. 11, 2013

China and Cyber Attacks: A Top Concern of U.S. Experts

China’s alleged cyber-espionage campaigns against other governments, major corporations and, most recently, the media, have increasingly become a focus of U.S. officials and news reports. In the superpower competition between the U.S. and China, most American experts ranked cyber attacks from China as a more serious problem than the economic or military challenges it poses.

Commentary Feb. 7, 2013

Seeds of Unrest in Pakistan’s Economy

The news out of Pakistan is unrelentingly bad, but headline-grabbing events obscure a more insidious problem: the profound economic challenges facing Pakistani society. And this economic malaise is worsening, thus complicating India’s relationship with its neighbour.

Commentary Feb. 6, 2013

The U.S. Focuses on Its Homefront

The president’s inaugural address and the confirmation testimony of Kerry and Hagel are being scrutinized by foreigners for signs of America’s international intentions. To separate lofty ambitions from practical realities, their statements must be interpreted in the context of U.S. public opinion – and that means they should be taken with a large grain of salt.

Commentary Jan. 28, 2013

Viewpoint: Pakistan’s Economic Woes Are Being Overlooked

Pakistan is a country beset with political difficulties, but they could be of secondary importance to its economic woes. The truth is that the Pakistani people are deeply troubled by the plight of their economy and their own economic prospects.

Commentary 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.

Commentary 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.

Commentary 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.

Commentary 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.

Commentary 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.

Commentary 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.

Commentary 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. 20, 2012

Slideshow: World Trends in 2012

Commentary 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.

Survey Reports Dec. 12, 2012

Social Networking Popular Across Globe

Arab Publics Most Likely to Express Political Views Online

Commentary 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.

Commentary 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.

Commentary 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.

Commentary 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.