Jun. 4, 2012

Section 7: Values About Foreign Policy and Terrorism

For two decades, the public has consistently favored focusing more attention on domestic problems, and less on overseas concerns. At the same time, it has expressed robust support for an active approach to world affairs. The new survey finds most Americans continuing to hold both points of view. But the number saying the U.S. should […]

Jun. 16, 2011

In Shift from Bush Era, More Conservatives Say “Come Home, America”

In their first major presidential debate June 13, the Republican candidates sketched out a cautious approach to U.S. global engagement that would represent a departure from the policies of the Bush administration. Yet their ideas are very much in tune with the evolving views of the GOP base. In the Pew Research Center’s political typology […]

Dec. 3, 2009

Council on Foreign Relations Commentary

Going It Alone in Tough Times James M. Lindsay and Parke T. Nicholson Council on Foreign Relations Tough economic times have always led the American public to turn inward rather than look beyond America’s shores. The Great Depression sparked a surge of isolationism that only ceased after Pearl Harbor. The stagflation of the 1970s combined […]

Dec. 3, 2009

Section 1: State of the World and America’s Global Role

The public overwhelmingly continues to express dissatisfaction with the way things are going in the United States. Just 25% say they are satisfied with national conditions – a figure that has changed little over the past several months. Americans express even more negative opinions about the way things are going in the world. Just 15% […]

Mar. 8, 2007

Foreign Policy: The Public Sends a Muddled Message

Both the White House and Congress face difficult decisions with respect to foreign policy in the final two years of Bush’s term. Yet, the polls suggest that policymakers can expect little in the way of clear guidance from the public. Opinion surveys find much in the way of public frustration, but little in the way […]

Dec. 19, 2006

Free Trade Agreements Get a Mixed Review

Summary of Findings The American public continues to have a mixed opinion about free trade agreements such as NAFTA and the WTO. On balance they are seen as a good thing for the country, but Americans are divided over the impact of free trade agreements on their own personal financial situations. About as many people […]

Feb. 3, 2006

Bush’s Concern Over Isolationism Reflects More Than Just Rhetoric

When President Bush delivered a strong warning against isolationism in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, he was speaking to a recent and dramatic turn in public opinion. A recent Pew Research survey found a decided revival of isolationist sentiment among the public, to levels not seen since post-Cold War 1990s and the post-Vietnam 1970s. […]

Nov. 17, 2005

I. The State of the World and America’s Global Role

As dissatisfied as Americans are with things at home, they hold an even more negative opinion of the state of the world. In early October, Pew polling found just 29% of Americans satisfied with the way things are going in their country today, while 65% said they were dissatisfied — the most negative national assessment […]

Jun. 25, 1995

Public Opinion of the UN:

Report Summary Despite signs of growing isolationism in the United States, Americans as a whole continue to express strong support for the United Nations. To a public increasingly pre-occupied with domestic concerns, the United Nations is seen as a means of carrying the burdens and sharing the costs of global leadership. The world organization is […]