Utne’s Rough Guide to International Opinion

<a href=”http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=258″ target=”_blank”>The Pew Global Attitudes Project</a> gauges world opinion by polling 45,000 people across the globe. The report always makes headlines with its findings on weighty matters like immigration and anti-Americanism. <a href=”http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/002391.php” target=”_blank”>This year’s big story</a> is that the world seems conflicted about globalization. But what else are countries saying behind each other’s backs? Here are some choice findings from the 2007 report.<br />
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<strong>Biggest blowhards?</strong> The Italians. Nearly seven out of ten Italians say that their culture is better than any other. A little more than half of Americans said the same about these United States. The least proud people were the Swedes: Only 21 percent of Swedes thought that ABBA and Ingmar Bergman had assured their country’s cultural dominance.<br />
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Forty-six out of 47 populations say that their country’s <strong>traditional cultures should be protected from foreign influence</strong>. Only the Swedes didn’t care about the decline in their culture. Maybe Sweden just suffers from low cultural self-esteem.<br />
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Majorities in all counties surveyed believed that <strong>the environment should be protected even at the expense of the economy</strong>. Well, everybody but Indonesia, whose rainforests have been <a href=”http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2223596.stm” target=”_blank”>plagued in recent years by illegal loggers</a>.<br />
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<strong>Weakest supporter of democracy?</strong> The Russians, <a href=”http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,503248,00.html” target=”_blank”>who would rather have a strong leader</a> than the rule of law and accountable heads of state.<br />
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Pretty much everybody in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa say that <strong>women should choose their own husbands</strong>. Not so in many Arab countries, such as Jordan and Egypt, where majorities believe that women’s families should have their say in marriages. In Pakistan a majority of people thought that a family should have the final say in who a woman marries.<br />
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<strong>Less religious countries</strong> tend to be more economically developed than religious ones. The two big exceptions? Kuwait and the United States.

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<p>Go there >>
<a href=”http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=258″ target=”_blank”>Pew Global Attitudes Project</a>
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<p>Related Links:</p>
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<a href=”http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-fi-global5oct05,1,5383503.story?coll=la-news-comment” target=”_blank”>US Support for Trade Ties Lags</a>
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<li>
<a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/05/world/05pew.html” target=”_blank”>Globalization, According to the World, Is a Good Thing. Sort Of.</a>
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</ul>
<p>Related Links from the <em>Utne Reader</em> Archive:</p>
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<a href=”https://www.utne.com/issues/2007_140/features/12461-1.html”>Why Don’t We Talk Anymore?</a>
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</ul>
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