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.
Issues and innovations in global economic development.
Edward Alden and others explore ideas and initiatives for rebuilding American economic strength.
Smith's insightful book explores the policy issues testing the Japanese government as it tries to navigate its relationship with an advancing China. More
This revolutionary new look at volatility and crisis in oil markets explores the conditions in which oil supply fears arise, gain popularity, and eventually wane. More
Maximalist finds lessons in the past that anticipate and clarify our chaotic present, revealing the history of U.S. foreign policy in an unexpected new light. More
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 Independent Task Force outlines a plan for collective action on this growing epidemic.
This Independent Task Force 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.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 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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