Cell phones are owned by large majorities of people in major countries around the world, and they are used for much more than just phone calls. In particular, texting is widespread in both wealthy nations and the developing world. Social networking is also popular in many nations around the globe.
Overview 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 over the past 20 years, and most believe the changes that have taken place since 1991 have had a […]
American values differ from those of Western Europeans in many important ways. Most notably, Americans are more individualistic and are less supportive of a strong safety net than are the publics of Spain, Britain, France and Germany. However, Americans are coming closer to Europeans in not seeing their culture as superior to that of other nations.
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, views about American power have changed, as economic issues have trumped security concerns. Today, many see the U.S. as a great power in decline.
Fewer than half of Mexicans say their government is making progress in its campaign against drug cartels. Still, an overwhelming majority continues to endorse the use of the Mexican army to fight drug traffickers, virtually unchanged in recent years.
Americans are considerably more likely than other publics polled to say that parents do not put enough pressure on their children, while China is the only country in which a majority sees parents putting too much pressure on students. More than six-in-ten Americans say that parents do not put enough pressure on their children to do well in school, while about two-thirds of the Chinese public take the opposite position.
Muslim and Western publics continue to largely agree that relations between them are poor, and disagree about who is at fault – Muslims largely blame Westerners, while those in the West generally blame Muslims. However, in both Western and predominantly Muslim nations, there is a shared concern about the threat posed by Islamic extremism.
In the past decade, anti-Americanism grew around the world. In sharp contrast, today America is seen as on its way to losing its status as the dominant global superpower.
The United States continues to receive positive ratings in much of the world, but it faces the new challenge of doubts about its superpower status. Publics around the world increasingly believe that China either will replace or already has replaced the U.S. as the world’s leading superpower.
America’s image among Pakistanis remains poor, and most disapprove of the U.S. raid that killed bin Laden. Extremist groups also remain unpopular, although support for using the Pakistani military against extremists has waned. Most name India as the top threat to Pakistan. Overall, the public mood in Pakistan is grim – 92% are dissatisfied with the country’s direction.
As Turks prepare for national elections on June 12, they are increasingly upbeat about the direction of their country. And at a time when publics around the world generally remain gloomy about their economies, Turks are becoming more positive.
In the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the Japanese public is resilient. Indeed, a majority believe that as a result of the disaster, Japan will become a stronger nation. And while personal pessimism about the future has crept up slightly, on balance the public’s overall sense of personal well being appears little changed by the calamitous events of 2011.
Support for democracy is high throughout much of the Middle East, but the Arab Spring 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. On balance, extremist groups also viewed negatively, although they receive significant levels of support in some countries.
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. Al Qaeda itself also received largely negative ratings among Muslim publics in the 2011 survey.
Egyptians of all ages, from all walks of life, and parts of the country continue to celebrate the dramatic political changes their nation has undergone. Overwhelmingly, they say it is good that former president Hosni Mubarak is gone. Nearly two-in-three are satisfied with the way things are going in Egypt, and most are optimistic about their country’s future.
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.
Pro-democracy movements in Tunisia and Egypt recall the wave of democratization that took place two decades ago in Eastern Europe. The experience of Eastern Europe is a useful reminder that public enthusiasm for democracy is not guaranteed as political change extends over years and decades.
Majorities of Egyptian Muslims believe that democracy is preferable to any other kind of government, and by wide margins, Muslims in Egypt say that Islam plays a positive role in their country’s politics.