For Immediate Release
Contact: Keith Blackman
New Poll: Americans Concerned About Long-Term Impact
Implications include further economic setbacks
The poll of 1,099 US adults was taken January 14-15 for the non-profit organizations World Learning and the Aspen Institute. It finds that, although discussion of foreign policy and the war in
The results come on the heels of President Bush’s return from an eight-day, six-country trip to the
“Frankly, we’ve known that our reputation abroad has been diminishing over recent years,” said Carol Bellamy, President and CEO of World Learning. “What was surprising about these results is the number of people – particularly women, young people and seniors — who realize this, are concerned about it, and want to take action.”
According to the poll, 75 percent of Americans believe U.S. foreign policy is driving dissatisfaction with America abroad and more than 60 percent believe that dislike of American values (39 percent) and of the American people (26 percent) is also to blame.
The public sees this distrust harming the
- 66 percent believe that foreign governments will be less likely to support the
’ diplomatic and military efforts abroad; United States
- 63 percent worry that Americans will be less welcome in other parts of the world;
- 61 percent worry that there is a greater likelihood of terrorist attacks in the
- and 36 percent believe negative perceptions of the
could prompt boycotts of American products and retailers. US
Overall, nearly nine in ten Americans (88 percent) believe that it is very important for other countries to have a favorable opinion of Americans. Women in particular (80 percent, as compared to 65 percent of men) are very or somewhat worried that the
“Whether a Democrat or a Republican is our next president, he or she will face the huge challenge of restoring
According to the new findings, many Americans believe that overseas experiences by average Americans, playing the role of citizen diplomats, can improve the
The World Learning/Aspen Institute survey found that young people (33 percent) and African Americans (36 percent) believe that studying abroad is the most effective means to improve relations with people in other countries. Yet today fewer than 1 percent of all college students study abroad, and of this small number, less than 8 percent are Hispanic or African American, even though these populations represent 25 percent of all college students.
Congress is acutely aware that more student diplomats need to go abroad. It is considering legislation that would help 1 million undergraduate students – many of them minorities – participate in study abroad programs over the next 10 years.
“If today’s students are going to rise to be the leaders of tomorrow, it’s crucial that they get out of their comfort zones, experience the world and bring a greater understanding of the world back to their home communities,” said Bellamy.
About World Learning
World Learning, a global non-profit based in
About the Aspen Institute
Founded in 1950, the Aspen Institute (www.aspeninstitute.org) is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue through seminars, policy programs, conferences and leadership development initiatives.
About the Poll
Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) conducted an omnibus online survey among 1,099