portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts global

imperialism & war

World Public Opinion: Israel, Iran, and US are Worst

"It appears that people around the world tend to look negatively on countries whose profile is marked by the use or pursuit of military power," said Steven Kull, director of PIPA. This includes Israel and the US, who have recently used military force, and North Korea and Iran, who are perceived as trying to develop nuclear weapons."
 link to www.worldpublicopinion.org


Israel and Iran Share Most Negative Ratings in Global Poll
Full Report (PDF)
Questionnaire/Methodology (PDF)

A majority of people polled for the BBC World Service across 27 countries believe Israel and Iran have a mainly negative influence in the world with almost as many saying the same about North Korea and the United States.

Respondents were asked to rate 12 countries - Britain, Canada, China, France, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, North Korea, Russia, the USA, Venezuela - and the European Union, as having a positive or negative influence.

Canada, Japan, the European Union, and France were judged most positively. Britain, China, and India received more positive than negative evaluations while Russia was viewed slightly more negatively than positively. Opinions about Venezuela were evenly divided.

(Details of the evaluations of the United States were released separately by the BBC on 23 January and are available here).

The BBC has been tracking opinions about countries' influence in the world over three years (2005 - 2007). During that time most ratings have remained relatively stable. There has been improvement in ratings of India, a slight decline in views about Britain and a significant fall in positive evaluations of the United States. Russia, China, and France also lost ground over the period, mainly between 2005 and 2006.

"It appears that people around the world tend to look negatively on countries whose profile is marked by the use or pursuit of military power," said Steven Kull, director of PIPA. This includes Israel and the US, who have recently used military force, and North Korea and Iran, who are perceived as trying to develop nuclear weapons."

"Countries that relate to the world primarily through soft power, like Japan, France, and the EU in general, tend to be viewed positively," he added.

GlobeScan president Doug Miller said: "India is the only country that has significantly improved its global stature in the past year, and is now even with China. Britain, while slipping a bit since 2005, appears to be avoiding the steep decline that its war partner, the US, is suffering. And it is fascinating that Chavez's Venezuela seems to be appealing to as many people as it is displeasing."

The poll was conducted for the BBC World Service by the international polling firm GlobeScan together with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. GlobeScan coordinated the fieldwork between November 2006 and January 2007. Each country's rating is based on half-samples.