Global Economic Gloom — China and India Notable Exceptions
Although views of the U.S. remain negative, and many now worry about the US economy’s impact on their nations, the U.S.’s favorable ratings have increased modestly since 2007 in 10 of 21 countries with comparative data. People around the world are following the U.S. election closely – and in most places surveyed, express greater confidence in Obama than in McCain.
Putin’s Popularity Propels Chosen Successor in Russian Election
Opinion polling — showing a consistent Russian preference for a strong leader over a democratic government — suggests the outcome of Russia’s presidential election is a foregone conclusion.
Italy’s Malaise: La Vita Non É Cosí Dolce
Taken aback by critical depictions of their country’s “collective funk,” Italians’ spirits are flagging — but not their sense of cultural superiority.
A Rising Tide Lifts Mood in the Developing World
Even in some countries where incomes are still low and life is tough, people tend to be happier with their lives — if their economy is on the upswing. And, in Muslim countries, support for suicide bombing has declined sharply in recent years. Also, a commentary by Bruce Stokes analyzes factors contributing higher levels of happiness in many countries worldwide.
Same-Sex Marriage: Redefining Legal Unions Around the World
In many countries around the globe, gay and lesbian couples are seeking the right to marry or enter into other legally recognized forms of domestic partnerships. The legal definition of marriage is in flux, particularly in the developed world.
Global Unease with Major World Powers and Leaders
A new survey finds continuing anti-American sentiment and significant slippage in China’s image among the publics of other major nations. Concern about environmental degradation as a major threat to the planet has increased substantially in 20 of 35 countries for which trends are available.
The Putin Popularity Score
Is Vladimir Putin a new breed of postmodern, post-communist populist or an old-style dictator in democratic clothing? It’s a question currently being debated with even more urgency as the investigation widens into the bizarre poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Soviet spy and outspoken critic of the Russian president.
Europeans Debate the Scarf and the Veil
Government leaders in the Netherlands reignited the debate over veils and head scarves when they announced plans for legislation that would ban the full-face veil. A Pew survey found that European publics are divided on head scarf bans.
The French-Muslim Connection
When Muslim youths rioted in French suburbs last year, critics were quick to fault the French assimilation model. But recent findings suggest that the French can claim some success.
In Great Britain, Muslims Worry About Islamic Extremism
Even before British authorities announced they had thwarted a terrorist plot to blow up airplanes, many people in Britain – including Muslims – were very concerned about Islamic extremism.