Confidence in Democracy and Capitalism Wanes in Former Soviet Union
Two decades after the Soviet Union’s collapse, Russians, Ukrainians, and Lithuanians are unhappy with the direction of their countries and disillusioned with the state of their politics. Enthusiasm for democracy and capitalism has waned considerably and most believe the changes that have taken place have had a negative impact on many aspects of public life.
The American-Western European Values Gap
Americans’ values differ significantly from those of their Western Europeans counterparts. Although this gap is long-standing, current polling shows Americans coming closer to Europeans in not seeing their culture as superior to others.
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.
Crime and Drug Cartels Top Concerns in Mexico
Less than half of Mexicans believe that their government is making progress in its campaign against the nation’s drug cartels, according to a new survey. But a big majority still supports the government’s use of the army to fight drug traffickers.
Americans Want More Pressure On Students, the Chinese Want Less
With U.S. students underperforming in international assessments, it may not be surprising that almost two-thirds (64%) of Americans say that parents do not put enough pressure on their children to do well in school. That contrasts with the Chinese who feel their students are pushed too hard.
Muslim-Western Tensions Persist
Muslim and Western publics continue to see relations between them as generally bad, but there has been somewhat of a thaw in the views of the U.S. and Europe about the Muslim world.
U.S. Status as World’s Superpower Challenged by Rise of China
The U.S. image abroad is more favorable than it was in the Bush years, but it now faces a new challenge: doubts about America’s superpower status and the belief that China either will replace or already has replaced the United States as the world’s leading superpower.
U.S. Image in Pakistan Falls No Further Following bin Laden Killing
Most Pakistanis see the U.S. as an enemy, consider it a potential military threat and oppose American-led anti-terrorism efforts. A majority also describes bin Laden’s death as a bad thing and many say it will have a negative impact on the already strained relations between the U.S. and their country.
On Eve of Elections, a More Upbeat Mood in Turkey
As publics around the world generally remain gloomy about their economies, Turks are becoming more positive and are increasingly satisfied with their country. This bodes well for Prime Minster Erogan, who also receives good marks on foreign policy in the poll. Turks continue to favor joining the EU, but there is no consensus about whether Turkey’s future lies more with Europe or the Middle East.
Japanese Resilient, but See Economic Challenges Ahead
A majority in Japan believe their country will emerge stronger in the aftermath of the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The Japanese are broadly unhappy with their own government’s handling of the catastrophe, but there is considerable praise for the U.S. Most Japanese, however, also foresee a rocky economic road ahead.