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.
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.