Polls and Opinion Analysis

Council Special Report No. 7

A New Beginning

Authors: Craig Charney and Nicole Yakatan

The United States can improve its image in the Muslim world. Focus group research in three key Islamic countries--Egypt, Morocco, and Indonesia--shows that the widely held view that nothing can be done about the spread of negative attitudes toward the United States among Muslims in the Middle East and Asia is incorrect. The key to a new dialogue with the Muslim world is a humbler American perspective, based on respectful partnership and agreeing to disagree when necessary.

See more in Middle East and North Africa; United States; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Polls and Opinion Analysis

Event

Campaign 2008: Public Opinion and Foreign Policy

Set to be released next week, a new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, conducted in association with the Council on Foreign Relations, examines American priorities on key foreign policy issues from terrorism to human rights, and reports on perceptions of the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan. What do these attitudes mean for U.S. foreign policy in the campaign and the next administration? Please join Andrew Kohut, Marvin Kalb, and Margaret Warner to discuss the poll’s findings and reflect on its implications for policy.

See more in United States; Elections; Polls and Opinion Analysis

Event

Does Public Opinion Matter? World Attitudes on Global Governance

President Obama has heralded a “new era of global engagement.” But what do publics in the United States and around the world actually think about today’s global challenges—and the international institutions to cope with them?  Join us for the launch of Public Opinion on Global Issues (www.cfr.org/public_opinion), the most comprehensive digest ever assembled of existing polling data on U.S. and global public attitudes toward multilateral cooperation in the twenty-first century.

Developed by CFR’s International Institutions and Global Governance program in partnership with the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, the digest consolidates global and U.S. public opinion across ten major issue areas: elements of world order, international institutions, violent conflict, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, climate change, energy security, the global economy, economic development, and human rights.

Many of the results in the digest are surprising, and they challenge long-held stereotypes about attitudes toward world order and international cooperation, both in the United States and abroad. This digest represents a compilation, analysis, and synthesis of existing polling data, rather than new survey research. Its value added lies in its comprehensive coverage of major issue areas, as well as its juxtaposition of global and U.S. attitudes toward each area. Getting a clearer picture of what citizens in the United States and abroad want is important for policymakers, because public attitudes will shape prospects for effective multilateral cooperation in the twenty-first century.

See more in Polls and Opinion Analysis; United States; Global Governance