International opinion of America’s role in the world has turned positive for the first time in more than five years, according to an annual poll for the BBC World Service.
In 20 of the 28 countries polled, the United States was viewed favourably, with an average of 46 per cent of the 30,000 adults surveyed saying its influence in the world was positive compared with 34 per cent saying its influence was negative.
More than a year after Barack Obama’s inauguration, “it appears the ‘Obama effect’ is real,” said Steven Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, which conducted the survey with Globescan, a polling firm.
“Its influence on people’s views worldwide, however, is to soften the negative aspects of the United States’ image, while positive aspects are not yet coming into strong focus,” he added.
Negative ratings of the US dropped nine points, while positive ratings rose a more modest four points, but it overtook China, which 41 per cent saw as a positive influence. “While China’s image is stuck in neutral, America has motored past it in the global soft power competition,” Mr Kull said.
Iran was the least favourably viewed nation, with just 15 per cent – including majorities in Mexico and Pakistan - saying it had a positive influence, followed by Pakistan with 16 per cent and North Korea with 17 per cent.
The poll identified Germany as the world’s... >>>
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