Foreign Policy Blogs

Is the World Warming Up to The US?

A new poll conducted for the BBC World Service by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) and the international polling firm GlobeScan shows that for the first time since 2005, global views of the United States have improved.


But they’re still not what you would call “good.”

From the study's report: “While views of US influence in the world are still predominantly negative, they have improved in 11 of the 23 countries the BBC polled a year ago, while worsening in just three countries.

The average percentage saying that the is having a positive influence has increased from 31 per cent a year ago to 35 per cent today while the view that it is having a negative influence has declined from 52 per cent to 47 per cent.

Looking just at the countries that have been polled in each of the last four years, positive views of the US eroded from 2005 (38% on average), to 2006 (32%), and to 2007 (28%); recovering for the first time this year to 32 per cent.”

It's hard to believe that slightly less than a global majority thinking the US is having a negative influence in the world constitutes good news. But  hey, at this point we’ll take whatever we can get.

To view more detailed information about views of the US, methodology of the survey, etc. visit:

How does the US compare to the rest of the world? This poll asked respondents in 34 different countries (respondents in 23 of these countries had been asked this question since 2005) to rate whether 14 key international players/countries are having a “mainly postitive” or “mainly negative” influence in the world. 

Drum roll….

We’re Number Ten (out of 14)! Or does this sound more triumphant: We’re Fifth least-liked!


This also an improvement from last year, when only Israel, Iran and North Korea (two-thirds of the “Axis of Evil)” were less popular than  the US. This year our key military ally Pakistan has joined us in being top-five least popular. And we wonder why we have trouble recruiting new allies in the global war on terror? 

Even though views of the US are warming, it is clrealy not time to rest on our laurels and let the world change their own minds about us. There is so much work to be done.

But the US Presidential candidates are sending good messages to voters about the future of US global leadership under their presidency (maybe the global public listened to them too…?). Let's hope the upswing in positivity can continue throughout–at least–the next four years.



Melinda Brouwer

Melinda Brower holds a Masters degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She received her bachelor's degree in Political Science and Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a graduate diploma in International Relations from the University of Chile during her tenure as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. She has worked on Capitol Hill, at the State Department, for Foreign Policy magazine and the American Academy of Diplomacy. She presently works for an internationally focused non-profit research organization in Washington, DC.