Public Supports More Cooperative Governments, Survey Finds
A WorldPublicOpinion.org poll finds that the public in 14 of 21 nations around the world thinks their governments should be more ready to cooperate with others to achieve mutual gains. The poll comes at a time when international cooperation figures prominently in the news, as world leaders gather in Copenhagen to discuss climate change and Europe adopts the new Lisbon Treaty. Even President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize is due largely to his cooperative overtures. Indeed, the poll finds that 15 of 19 nations now see the United States as being generally cooperative.
On average across all nations surveyed, 55% of those polled believe that their leaders "should be more ready to act cooperatively to achieve mutual gains." However, 39% of those polled say their governments tend to be "too willing to compromise and are often taken advantage of." The poll shows the highest levels of support for greater cooperation are among Turks (81%), Egyptians (76%), Nigerians (73%) and Palestinians (69%) -- promising indicators for potential Middle East peace negotiations.
The public in many of the largest and most powerful countries also calls for greater cooperation, including China (63%), India (59%), Russia (54%) and the U.S. (54%). Interestingly, support for greater cooperation was consistently low among EU members including Britain (31%), Poland (34%), France (43%) and Germany (47%). This may be because they feel that they are cooperative enough -- especially within the EU and in their relations with the United States.
Large numbers in Mexico (63%) and South Korea (71%) feel that their country is too willing to compromise. This may result from their close relationships with the U.S., in which America clearly plays the dominant role.
WorldPublicOpinion.org conducted the poll of 20,349 respondents in 21 nations that comprise 64% of the world's population. This includes most of the largest nations -- China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Nigeria and Russia -- as well as Mexico, Chile, Germany, Great Britain, France, Poland, Ukraine, Kenya, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan, the Palestinian territories and South Korea. Polling was also conducted in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Not all questions were asked to all nations. The margins of error range from +/-3 to 4 percentage points. The surveys were conducted across the different nations between April 4 and July 9, 2009.