November 19, 2009
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Americans express support for the United Nations playing an active role in promoting human rights and reject the argument that this would be improper interference in the internal affairs of a country. A large majority favors the UN playing a larger role than it presently does to promote human rights and favor giving it greater power to go into countries to investigate human rights abuses. A substantial majority of Americans believe that the UN should try to further women’s rights even when presented with the argument that this would conflict with the principle of national sovereignty. When asked which entity should make decision on matters related to human rights, more Americans prefer the giving this role to the UN or regional organizations than to national governments. Download full chapter (PDF).
Americans nearly unanimously support the principle that individuals have a right to freedom of expression, including the right to criticize government and religious leaders. An overwhelming majority of Americans also believe that the government should not have the right to prohibit discussion of certain political or religious views and that people should have the right to demonstrate peacefully against their government. Download full chapter (PDF).
There is robust support in the United States for the principle that the media should be free of government control and that citizens should even have access to material from hostile countries. A majority of U.S. respondents also say that the government should not have the right to limit access to the internet and believe that the government should not have the right to prohibit publishing material it thinks will be politically destabilizing. Download full chapter (PDF).
Americans believe it is important for people of different religions to be treated equally and majorities affirm that followers of any religion should be allowed to assemble and practice in the United States. Additionally, a substantial majority of U.S. respondents believe that people of any religion should be allowed to try to actively to convert others to their religion, which differs from the global average. Download full chapter (PDF).
A large majority in the United States supports the principle that women should have “full equality of rights,” and believe their government has the responsibility to seek to prevent discrimination against women. Download full chapter (PDF).
Large majorities in the United States say people of different races and ethnicities should be treated equally, and an overwhelming majority says that employers should not be allowed to discriminate based on race or ethnicity and that it is the government’s responsibility to stop this from happening. In general, large majorities in the United States agree that governments should take action to prevent racial discrimination. Download full chapter (PDF).
A large majority of Americans support having international rules against torture, threatening torture, or treating detainees in a humiliating or degrading manner. However, a significant minority favors making an exception in the case of terrorists who have information that could save innocent lives. A large majority rejects the idea of making an exception to rules on detention for terrorism-related suspects. Commanders are generally seen as responsible if their subordinates carry out torture. Download full chapter (PDF).
Large majorities in the United States say their government should be responsible for taking care of the poor and for ensuring that citizens can meet their basic needs for food, healthcare, and education. Download full chapter (PDF).
Micah Zenko covers the U.S. national security debate.
Edward Alden and others explore ideas and initiatives for rebuilding American economic strength.
Issues and innovations in global economic development.
The definitive account of the secret war in Laos, which forever changed the CIA from a relatively small spying agency into an organization with vast paramilitary powers. More
CFR President Haass argues for an updated global operating system to address challenges from terrorism to climate change. More
Alden provides an enlightening history of the last four decades of U.S. trade policies and a blueprint for how to keep the United States competitive in a globalized economy. More
The Task Force recommends revising U.S. policy toward North Korea to break the cycle of North Korean provocation and promote stability in Northeast Asia.
India now matters to U.S. interests in virtually every dimension. This Independent Task Force report assesses the current situation in India and the U.S.-India relationship, and suggests a new model for partnership with a rising India.
Rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries are increasing faster than in wealthier countries. The report outlines a plan for collective action on this growing epidemic.
This report asserts that elevating and prioritizing the U.S.-Canada-Mexico relationship offers the best opportunity for strengthening the United States and its place in the world.
Knopf argues that the only remaining path for South Sudan is for an international transitional administration to run the country for a finite period.
The U.S. relationship with Israel is in trouble. Blackwill and Gordon offer six core policy proposals to repair, redefine, and invigorate the partnership.
To ensure the success of Myanmar's historic democratic transition, the United States should revise its outdated and counterproductive sanctions policy.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass.
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