End of Communism Cheered But Now With More Reservations
Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, publics of former Iron Curtain countries generally look back approvingly at the collapse of communism. However, enthusiasm about these changes has dimmed in most of the countries surveyed, and many say that most people were better off under communism.
Eastern Europe: A Crisis of Confidence in Capitalism?
The economic crisis could have troubling implications for public opinion in the former Eastern Bloc, where support for capitalism had been on the rise, but still remained weaker than in Western Europe and most other regions of the world.
European Worries About Reliance on Russian Energy Were Already High
Just as concern about energy dependence has become widespread, so too have unfavorable views of Russia and its Prime Minister Putin.
Xenophobia on the Continent
A growing minority of citizens in several European countries holds unfavorable opinions of Jews. Negative views of Israel, sympathy with the Palestinian cause, rising anti-Americanism, and a backlash against globalization and immigration all play a role in this trend.
Unfavorable Views of Both Jews and Muslims Increase in Europe
Publics that view Jews unfavorably also tend to see Muslims in a negative light. However, the trend in negative views toward Muslims in Europe has occurred over a longer period of time than recently growing anti-Semitic sentiment.
Obamamania Abroad: The Candidate Can Expect a Warm Welcome in Europe, Not So in the Middle East
By all accounts, Barack Obama will be enthusiastically greeted when he travels to Europe. But his trip will take him into less friendly territory in the Middle East where Muslims remain skeptical about the future of U.S. foreign policy, regardless of who is elected in November.
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.