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The world has changed its opinion about major powers

March 7, 2007

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.

Related Reading: Survey says that India will become number two economy by 2050
Britain has underestimated India
Does the US produce more engineers or does India?
Globalisation ahoy!
Highest pay hikes to be in India in 2007

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Sundar permalink
    March 7, 2007 2:04 pm

    I went through that report and surprisingly people who have a negative view of India are from countries like Portugal and Hungary. I wonder how much importance one should attach to these opinions because according to my knowledge India has little to do with these countries (if you forget the Goan connection) . Living in India I hardly get to know about these countries except for the occasional football news . So if someone questions me about these countries I will definitely flounder .

  2. March 7, 2007 4:29 pm

    I think you have answered your own question Sundar. In the sense that I think just as we have not heard much about Hungary or Portugal, it is likely that the media in these two countries is not reporting anything much about India.

  3. Jingala permalink
    July 11, 2008 3:49 pm

    I think because of so many cowardlly desion by india world majority country no respect india .i give you examples like india ic 814 hijecked by taliban we know it verywell. at that time india should had destroyed taliban . but it no t happen unfortunetly. india trying to hard to become friend of pakistan i think pakistan is an enemy. treat him like enemy. i think india should by missle defence system from usa. usa never in past ready to seel the system so india should take this oportunity in both hands. and india is like a tiger who ran away from fight to little dogs

  4. July 14, 2008 12:46 pm

    to many problems of india, the solution is at the bottom line.
    we are losing on the cultural values we had for many years. this is directly related to patriotism, since the sense of pride for our country is missing. the children in schools know more about other countries than india from their books.

    but every one seem to bring out their patriotism at the times like our orissa floods or kargil war or say gujarat earthquake. why this dies down when we are confronted with people from other countries asking us wierd questions about india? why dont we have answers for them, instead we tow their line and belittle our greatness? we can do this because we do not feel the attachment to india anymore.

    those people who must be letting the whole world know what india is all about and what our strengths are …must be very consciously monitoring the PRO with other nations. we gotto learn this from the americans who can show you only the best of their country and can sell every idea they come up with from fashion to lifestyle to music to advertisements to movie making to publishing to pubs to ……… list goes on.

    but we like to let our own yoga get its american certification before using it. but the americans think yoga is buddhist! than indian. we love the american flag tied over our heads or a british flag as a head rest in our cars! sorry, but i feel there is absolutely not even an iota of patriotism here. how can we expect them to proudly talk about india wherever they go? they would rather settle down in the US cuz they cannot bear the corrupt govt in india :D:D ….thats simply escapism 😀

    Suchin, in my opinion the Americans may boast about their country but they also criticize it. America is a free country and you will find that you can even criticize eminent people there without getting thrown in jail! However I thin its important not to mix up patrotism and nationalism and you could read about it here. I find that many Indians are not patriotic but they are nationalistic. – Nita.

  5. Ravi permalink
    July 14, 2008 4:02 pm

    Its obvious that India got some respect due to its economic prosperity thanks to IT revolution in India.

  6. Ravi permalink
    July 21, 2008 9:53 pm

    True that we don’t know how to market and spread the greatness of our culture. We are no good at doing business ala americans!


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