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.
Arab Spring Fails to Improve U.S. Image
The rise of pro-democracy movements in the Middle East has not led to an improvement in America’s image in the region. Instead, in key Arab nations and in other predominantly Muslim countries, views of the U.S. remain negative, as they have been for nearly a decade. And, with the exception of Indonesia, Obama remains unpopular in the Muslim nations polled.
Osama bin Laden Largely Discredited Among Muslim Publics in Recent Years
In the months leading up to Osama bin Laden’s death, a survey of Muslim publics around the world found little support for the al Qaeda leader.
Egyptians Embrace Revolt Leaders, Religious Parties and Military, As Well
A nationwide survey of Egypt finds Egyptians mostly satisfied with the way things are going and optimistic about the country’s future. But the nation remains cautious about the prospects for political change. Also, U.S. favorability ratings remain low, and Israel fares even more poorly.
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.
Global Publics Embrace Social Networking
Although still a relatively young technology, social networking is already a global phenomenon. A 22-nation survey finds that in regions around the world, people who use the internet are using it for social networking. Cell phone ownership and computer usage are also increasingly popular across the globe.
Muslim Publics Divided on Hamas and Hezbollah
While Hamas and Hezbollah continue to receive mixed ratings from Muslim publics around the globe, opinions of al Qaeda and bin Laden are consistently negative. Meanwhile, most Muslims surveyed welcome a significant role for Islam in their countries’ politics, and most also say democracy is preferable to any other kind of government.