The world has changed its opinion about major powers
The BBC has been tracking the ‘influence’ of different countries around the world for several years, and this is the first year where it has seen significant changes in people’s world view of important nations. The latest survey commissioned by the BBC and conducted by GlobeScan of 28,000 people across 27 countries between November 2006 and January 2007 shows some important trends.
These are the countries which voted but their opinion of their own country was not taken into account:
And these are the Movers and Shakers of the world about whom opinions were asked:
Britain, Canada, China, France, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, North Korea, Russia, the USA, Venezuela, and the European Union.
This is the result graph:
The four of the most respected and/or loved (?) nations are Canada, Japan, the EU and France. The four of the most hated and/or feared (?) are Israel, Iran, North Korea and Venezuela. Five countries, Russia, the US, India, China and Great Britain fall somewhere inbetween.
Which countries lost out over the previous year?
Well, according to GlobeScan the US has taken the biggest beating. A small negative trend is also evident towards Britain, Russia, China and to a lesser extent towards France. The Globescan analysis says that the US has mainly lost out due to the flexing of its military muscle and the reason that Israel, Iran and North Korea are the bottom three is for the same reason. Significantly this is the first time Israel has been included in the survey so one doesn’t know if its rating has deteriorated or improved.
Who got the most positive votes?
The world respects countries which are economically strong and are also peace loving…like Canada and Japan.
Guess its the economic aspect that made people respect India more than they did last year. In fact GlobeScan reveals that “India is the only country that has significantly improved its global stature in the past year, and is now even with China 🙂 India has not only just shown some significant economic gains this last year, these gains have been well publicised.
Country wise opinions?
So have these opinions been formed country-wise? Or is country-wise opinion divided? Well, it depended on individual cases. In the case of Israel, the majority of people in as many as 23 countries rated it negatively. Iran followed close behind with 21 countries giving it a negative rating. And United States and North Korea (who would have ever thought that one would talk of these two countries in the same breath?) have been given bad ratings by 20 countries. The overall votes (30 per cent of those who voted gave America the thumbs up) do push the US higher than North Korea however.
The majority of people in only seven countries view Britain negatively, but it is significant that overall positive votes have decreased from 50 percent the previous year to 44 percent today. Brazil, France and Turkey, South Korea, Nigeria, Lebanon and Poland have voted more negatively towards Britain than they did last year.
This country is at the bottom of the pile not just because a large majority of people in the Middle East hold a negative view of Israel. The majority of people in Germany, Greece, France, Indonesia, Australia, South Korea and Brazil also think poorly of Israel. India’s population is divided in its view of Israel.
I found this survey fascinating. Although the results were not too surprising, I was a suprised to find out how badly the US has slipped, and also surprised to find out that Israel is viewed negatively by so many countries in Europe. It also feels good to know that people are thinking better of India now than before.
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