Does Humanitarian Aid Improve America’s Image?
Humanitarian aid to countries struck by major natural disasters — such as the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan nearly a year ago — has produced more favorable opinions of the U.S. among the populations of those countries. But the long term impact of such aid on public opinion has proved to have its limits.
From Hyperpower to Declining Power
Early in the post-Sept. 11 era, the projection of American military strength led to pervasive fears of an unleashed, and unchecked, hyperpower. More recently, however, the global financial crisis has turned the spotlight to America’s declining economic prowess and perceptions of a great power in decline.
Upbeat Chinese May Not Be Primed for a Jasmine Revolution
Judging the Chinese appetite for democracy is not easy, but polling suggests China may not be ripe for the kind of uprisings seen throughout the Middle East.
Will Enthusiasm for Democracy Endure in Egypt and Elsewhere?
While the parallels between former Soviet bloc countries and Middle Eastern nations should not be overdrawn, the experience of Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet empire is a useful reminder that public enthusiasm for democracy is not guaranteed as political change extends over years and decades.
Egypt, Democracy and Islam
In a survey conducted last spring, a majority of Egyptian Muslims said that democracy was preferable to any other kind of government. An overwhelming majority also believes Islam’s influence in politics is positive.
Obama’s Middle East Problem
While global publics largely take a positive view of the president’s leadership and foreign policy, he receives his lowest marks on dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — and his ratings on this issue are especially negative in the Arab nations of the Middle East.
Mexicans Continue Support for Drug War
Mexicans overwhelmingly continue to endorse President Calderón’s campaign against the drug cartels and most — though somewhat fewer than a year ago — see progress in the drug war. But opposition to direct U.S. involvement has increased, and Mexican views of the U.S. generally turned negative following passage of the recent Arizona immigration law.
Czechs’ Commitment to Free Markets and Democracy Stays Strong Amidst Troubled Economic and Political Waters
Despite broad dissatisfaction with their country’s current economy and direction, Czechs’ enthusiasm for free markets and open elections has remained strong.
In the U.S. and around the globe, the spread of nuclear weapons is seen as a major threat, but not overwhelmingly so. Those concerned, however, look to the U.S. for leadership.
Hungary Dissatisfied with Democracy, but Not its Ideals
Hungarians, who once pioneered the transition away from communism, are not turning their backs on democracy. Instead, they are frustrated by the fact that democracy has yet to fully flourish in their country.