November 19, 2009
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.
Isobel Coleman maps the intersections between political reform, economic growth, and U.S. policy in the developing world.
Edward Alden and others explore ideas and initiatives for rebuilding American economic strength.
The story of the tragic and often tormented relationship between the United States and Pakistan, and a call to prepare for the worst, aim for the best, and avoid past mistakes. More
An authoritative and accessible look at what countries must do to build durable and prosperous democracies—and what the United States and others can do to help. More
A groundbreaking analysis of what the changes in American energy mean for the economy, national security, and the environment. More
This Independent Task Force report finds that as more people and services become interconnected and dependent on the Internet, societies are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.
This Independent Task Force asserts that Turkey is an increasingly influential regional and economic power and calls for the United States and Turkey to forge a new partnership.
The authors assess the political, security, and economic challenges facing U.S. policymakers in Afghanistan and evaluate a range of policy options.
Special operations play a critical role in how the United States confronts irregular threats, but to have long-term strategic impact, the author argues, numerous shortfalls must be addressed.
This volume brings together a broad range of Foreign Affairs content to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Samuel Huntington’s classic article “The Clash of Civilizations?” More
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