Foreign Service Journal - June 2013 - page 11

JUNE 2013
came in at 36 percent approval, and
41 percent of respondents approved of
German diplomacy.
The poll also asked participants
whether they wanted to permanently
relocate to another country, and if so,
where. The top destinations for reloca-
tion were (in descending order) the
United States, Britain, France, Canada,
Saudi Arabia and Germany. In Liberia,
37 percent of adults polled said they
would move to the United States perma-
nently if they could.
The data used in the report came
from face-to-face and telephone
interviews with approximately 1,000
randomly selected adults (age 15 and
older) in urban and rural areas of 130
countries. For results based on the total
samples, one can say with 95-percent
confidence that the margin of sampling
error ranges from 1.7 to 4.8 percentage
—Jeff Richards, Editorial Intern
How the World Sees
U.S. Leadership
he latest
from the U.S.-
Global Leadership Project, released
on March 13, is a decidedly mixed bag.
While some regions continue to give
the Obama administration high marks
for its diplomacy, America’s median
global approval rating slipped from 46
to 41 percent over the past year. Still,
the United States continues to be held
in higher international regard than any
other major power.
The project, which has conducted
surveys in hundreds of countries each
year since 2009, is a joint initiative
of the
Its purpose is to analyze
the factors driving global views of U.S.
leadership, create a context for collabo-
ration on how to improve those views,
and enhance public and private global
engagement efforts.
Approval of U.S. leadership stands at
70 percent in Africa, by far the highest
of any region. Indeed, seven of the 10
countries whose respondents are most
positive about America are located on
that continent. One notable excep-
tion is Egypt, where the U.S. has only a
17-percent approval rating—a percent-
age that has remained basically steady
ever since the fall of former President
Hosni Mubarak. But in Libya, another
hot spot, the figure stands at 54 percent,
the highest anywhere in the Middle East
or North Africa.
Closer to home, only 40 percent
of respondents in Central and South
America approve of U.S. leadership.
But in Haiti, where Washington played
a major role in disbursing relief in the
aftermath of the horrific January 2010
earthquake, approval of American lead-
ership stands at a whopping 79 percent.
In Asia, sentiment toward the
United States
has remained
relatively stable
Barack Obama’s
hovering around
37 percent. That
figure would
be even higher
were it not for
several countries
that have expe-
rienced strained
relations with
the Washington, such as Iran
(12 percent), Pakistan (12
percent), the Palestinian Ter-
ritories (15 percent), Yemen
(18 percent) and Iraq (22
percent). In contrast, Syria
has recorded one of the larg-
est increases in approval of
the United States over the previous year
(a jump of 13 points to 29 percent).
European approval ratings for U.S.
leadership have dropped 11 points since
the start of Barack Obama’s presidency,
from 47 to 36 percent. The country giv-
ing the United States the highest marks
is Kosovo, while Russia is at the other
end of the spectrum in its assessment.
The U.S.-Global Leadership Project
also conducted a comparative study,
asking participants about the leader-
ship Russia, China, the United King-
dom and Germany have shown on the
world stage. Although Beijing received
a higher approval rating than did Wash-
ington four years ago, the first time
Meridian and Gallup conducted this
survey, that is no longer the case. China
now stands at just 29 percent.
Moscow fared even worse: Only
13 percent of respondents said they
approve of Russian leadership. London
European approval ratings for
U.S. leadership have dropped 11 points
since the start of Barack Obama’s
presidency, from 47 to 36 percent.
Source: U.S. Global Leadership Project
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