Japan’s decision to join negotiations to create a Trans-Pacific Partnership with the United States and other Pacific nations reflects, in part, the sea change in public opinion that has transformed U.S.-Japan relations. The upcoming TPP negotiations will be contentious. But the political context in which these talks will take place is far more supportive than ever before.
Criticized by some for being insufficiently pro-Israel during his first term, and dogged by relatively low ratings in Israel, President Obama travels there this week to deliver a major address in Jerusalem. The Obama administration can only hope this speech is more warmly received among Israelis than his last high-profile address in the region at Cairo University in June 2009.
Surveys consistently show that movies – and more broadly, American popular culture – are a strong suit of U.S. soft power. And, while studio executives spend considerably more time thinking about box office returns than public diplomacy, Tinseltown is actually pretty effective at nudging America’s international image in a positive direction.
The ultimate public verdict on a U.S.-EU trade and investment agreement has yet to be rendered, but on the eve of such negotiations, both Americans and Europeans seem disposed to try.
The U.S. president’s inaugural address is a speech heard and read around the world, and is interpreted as a sign of America’s intentions going forward. To separate lofty ambitions from more practical realities, it needs to be interpreted in the context of U.S. public opinion.
Europeans generally reacted positively to President Obama’s re-election, just as they did four years ago. But despite Obama’s re-election at home and continued popularity in Europe, his presidency has not closed the long-running transatlantic values gap on issues such as the use of military force, religion, and individualism.
Over the past year, public opinion surveys in the United States and China have shown evidence of rising tensions between the two countries on a host of issues. These include increasingly negative perceptions of each other and concern over economic and trade policies. This infographic explores these views.
See how much you know about the worldwide image of the United States.
While the image of the United States has improved throughout many parts of the world during Barack Obama's presidency, negative views of America remain stubbornly persistent in key Muslim countries. Much of this animosity is due to continuing concerns about U.S. power and widespread opposition to major elements of American foreign policy.
With less than three months to go in the U.S. presidential election, the candidates’ debate over America’s place in the world can only be expected to escalate. Recent public opinion surveys suggest that people outside the United States question American hard power and increasingly embrace U.S. soft power. Whoever is president in 2013, the success abroad of his foreign policy may depend on achieving the right balance in the exercise of American hard and soft power.