IMPROVED INTERNATIONAL STANDING…. We heard quite a bit during the presidential campaign about the United States losing some of its international standing during the Bush/Cheney era, and the ways in which Barack Obama could improve our reputation around the world.
The president’s only been in office for a year, but the results thus far are encouraging. Gallup reported this week, “Perceptions of U.S. leadership worldwide improved significantly from 2008 to 2009. The U.S.-Global Leadership Project, a partnership between the Meridian International Center and Gallup, finds that a median of 51% of the world approves of the job performance of the current leadership of the U.S., up from a median of 34% in 2008.”
The study found “significant improvements” in sentiment toward U.S. leadership in all four major global regions — Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Gallup added, “Among the Group of Twenty (G-20) members, approval of U.S. leadership changed significantly in 16 of 17 countries where Gallup collected data before and after the Obama administration took office early last year. In 15 of these countries, approval ratings increased substantially, with increases of 39 points or more in Canada, France, and the United Kingdom.”
This is the latest in a series of related studies, all of which show the United States’ global standing improving considerably since Obama took office. In October, the Nation Brand Index survey found that the U.S. had reclaimed its position as the most admired country globally, up from seventh place in 2008. Similarly, in July, the Pew Global Attitudes Project found a vast improvement in international views of the United States since the president’s election.
Obviously, international support can change, sometimes rapidly. But for those who hoped to see our stature improve after eight years of unpleasantness, we appear to be taking significant steps in the right direction.