America’s improved global standing

AMERICA’S IMPROVED GLOBAL STANDING…. I’ve been keeping an eye on international attitudes towards the United States since the change in presidential administrations, and it’s been encouraging to see America’s standing rise after reaching embarrassing depths. It appears the trend is continuing.

Views of the US around the world have improved sharply over the past year, a BBC World Service poll suggests.

For the first time since the annual poll began in 2005, America’s influence in the world is now seen as more positive than negative.

The improved scores for the US coincided with Barack Obama becoming president, a BBC correspondent notes.

The international poll was conducted between November 2009 and February 2010, and surveyed nearly 30,000 people in 28 countries. It was conducted with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland.

Steven Kull, PIPA’s director, noted, “After a year, it appears the ‘Obama effect’ is real.”

This isn’t the only recent survey showing the nation’s standing improving. Gallup reported in February, “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.”

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, it’s heartening to see the United States’ stature grow once again.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.