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.
In regions around the world – and in countries with varying levels of economic development – people who use the internet are using it for social networking. Other forms of technology are also increasingly popular: cell phone ownership and computer usage have grown significantly across the globe over the last three years, and they have risen dramatically since 2002. Consistently, these technologies are especially popular among young people.
Extremist groups Hamas and Hezbollah continue to receive mixed ratings from Muslim publics. However, opinions of al Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, are consistently negative; only in Nigeria do Muslims offer views that are, on balance, positive toward al Qaeda and bin Laden.
More than seven-in-ten Indians have confidence in Barack Obama and about two-thirds express a favorable opinion of the U.S. Indians are also upbeat about their country’s economic situation and its role in world affairs. Still, most say India faces major challenges, including crime and corruption. And there are widespread concerns about Pakistan and extremist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Brazilians are relatively upbeat about the state of their country, although they still see serious challenges, including illegal drugs, crime and political corruption. And Brazilians are confident about their country’s place in the world: most say Brazil already is or will eventually be one of the world’s leading powers.
Confidence in Turkish institutions and leaders – including the military, religious leaders, and the prime minster – has declined over the last few years. And Turks continue to express largely negative views of major world powers.
While global publics largely take a positive view of President Obama, he receives his lowest marks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – and his ratings are especially poor in the Arab nations of the Middle East.
As drug violence continues to plague their country, Mexicans largely endorse President Felipe Calderón’s campaign against drug cartels. Most also believe the Mexican military is making progress in the drug war, although they are less likely to hold this view now than was the case one year ago.
Overwhelmingly, Pakistanis see terrorism as a major problem in their country and most have negative views of the Taliban and al Qaeda, but they have become less concerned over the last year that extremists will take over Pakistan. Meanwhile, Pakistanis continue to express serious concerns about the U.S. and their longtime rival India.
The French public overwhelmingly endorses a ban on full Islamic veils in public places, and majorities in other Western European nations surveyed would also welcome such a ban in their countries. In contrast, most Americans would oppose prohibiting Muslim women from wearing full veils in public.
Despite a general consensus that women should have the same rights as men, people in many nations around the world say gender inequalities persist. Many say that men get more opportunities than equally qualified women for jobs that pay well and that life is generally better for men than it is for women in their countries.
Overview As the global economy begins to rebound from the great recession, people around the world remain deeply concerned with the way things are going in their countries. Less than a third of the publics in most nations say they are satisfied with national conditions, as overwhelming numbers say their economies are in bad shape. […]
With an election approaching, Czechs are unhappy with conditions in their country and frustrated with the way democracy is working, but are committed to free market economics and democratic values.
With parliamentary elections approaching, Hungarians are dissatisfied with their economy and with the current state of democracy in their country. However, they still value democratic rights and institutions.
New Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s move to ban Ukraine from becoming a member of NATO is not without a base of public support.
President Barack Obama’s popularity has transformed America’s image in Indonesia. However, the world’s largest predominantly Muslim country is an outlier in the Muslim world, where opinions of the U.S. remain mostly negative.
In a briefing for a congressional subcommittee, Andrew Kohut describes the rise of anti-Americanism over the last decade, its sharp decline after Obama’s election and the reasons why this improving trend may be fragile.
Across predominantly Muslim nations, there is little enthusiasm for the extremist Islamic organizations Hamas and Hezbollah, although there are pockets of support for both groups, especially in the Middle East.
Members of the post-communist generation offer much more positive evaluations of the political and economic changes their countries have undergone over the past two decades than do those who were adults when communism collapsed.
With an election approaching, Ukrainians are unhappy with conditions in their country, and most are frustrated with the way democracy is working.
More than 1,000 immigrants have been evacuated from southern Italy after a recent wave of violence against African farm workers. Surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project find that anti-immigrant sentiment is widespread
Recent events have raised questions about the threat of homegrown terrorism in the U.S., but survey results show that Muslim Americans overwhelmingly reject extremism.
While overall ratings for the U.S. have improved throughout much of the world, in Turkey they remain dismal. Still, there are modest signs of a potential for improvement.
Publics around the world see climate change as a major problem, and many are willing to make sacrifices to address global warming and the environment. But nations are split on which country should lead on this issue.
Europeans and Americans share concerns about Iran’s emergent nuclear capabilities, though Russians are less worried.