Worldwide, People Divided on Whether Life Today Is Better Than in the Past

Worldwide, People Divided on Whether Life Today Is Better Than in the Past. Pew Research Center. Jacob Poushter. December 5, 2017.

Fifty years ago, the world was a very different place. The United States and its allies were locked in a Cold War with the Soviet Union, personal computers and mobile phones were the stuff of science fiction, and much of the world’s population had yet to experience substantial improvements in life expectancy and material well-being.

How far do people around the globe think they and others like them have come, compared with 50 years ago? Pew Research Center put that question to nearly 43,000 people in 38 countries around the globe this past spring. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 15 pages, 574.29 KB].

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Globally, Broad Support for Representative and Direct Democracy

Globally, Broad Support for Representative and Direct Democracy. Pew Research Center. Richard Wike et al. October 16, 2017.

A deepening anxiety about the future of democracy around the world has spread over the past few years. Emboldened autocrats and rising populists have shaken assumptions about the future trajectory of liberal democracy, both in nations where it has yet to flourish and countries where it seemed strongly entrenched. Scholars have documented a global “democratic recession,” and some now warn that even long-established “consolidated” democracies could lose their commitment to freedom and slip toward more authoritarian politics.

A 38-nation Pew Research Center survey finds there are reasons for calm as well as concern when it comes to democracy’s future. More than half in each of the nations polled consider representative democracy a very or somewhat good way to govern their country. Yet, in all countries, pro-democracy attitudes coexist, to varying degrees, with openness to nondemocratic forms of governance, including rule by experts, a strong leader or the military. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 43 pages, 593.52 KB].

Globally, People Point to ISIS and Climate Change as Leading Security Threats: Concern About Cyberattacks, World Economy Also Widespread

Globally, People Point to ISIS and Climate Change as Leading Security Threats: Concern About Cyberattacks, World Economy Also Widespread. Pew Research Center. Jacob Poushter and Dorothy Manevich. August 1, 2017.

People around the globe identify ISIS and climate change as the leading threats to national security, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. The survey asked about eight possible threats. While the level and focus of concern varies by region and country, ISIS and climate change clearly emerge as the most frequently cited security risks across the 38 countries polled. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 32 pages, 1.29 MB].

Public Supports Aim of Making It ‘Easy’ for All Citizens to Vote

Public Supports Aim of Making It ‘Easy’ for All Citizens to Vote. Pew Research Center. June 28, 2017

Only one-in-five back mandatory voting

As states around the country debate laws regarding access to the ballot – ranging from automatic voter registration to voter ID requirements – most Americans back making it easy for all citizens to vote. But they overwhelmingly reject the idea of requiring people to vote. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 10 pages, 301.52 KB].

Most Say Tensions Between Trump Administration And News Media Hinder Access To Political News

Most Say Tensions Between Trump Administration And News Media Hinder Access To Political News. Pew Research Center. Michael Barthel, Jeffrey Gottfried and Amy Mitchell. April 4, 2017.

Following a presidential campaign season characterized by regular conflicts between Donald Trump and the news media and the continuation of these tensions since President Trump took office, nearly all Americans have taken notice, and large majorities feel these tensions are causing problems.

According to a new Pew Research Center survey, 94% of Americans say they have heard about the current state of the relationship between the Trump administration and the news media. And what they’ve seen does not reassure them: large majorities feel the relationship is unhealthy and that the ongoing tensions are impeding Americans’ access to important political news. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 9 pages, 349.96 KB].

Large Majorities See Checks and Balances, Right to Protest as Essential for Democracy

Large Majorities See Checks and Balances, Right to Protest as Essential for Democracy. Pew Research Center. March 2, 2017

Large majorities of the public, Republicans and Democrats alike, say open and fair elections and a system of governmental checks and balances are essential to maintaining a strong democracy in the United States.

However, there is less consensus about the importance of other aspects of a strong democracy – notably, the freedom of news organizations to criticize political leaders. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 13 pages, 463.49 KB].

What It Takes to Truly Be ‘One of Us’

What It Takes to Truly Be ‘One of Us’. Pew Research Center. Bruce Stokes. February 1, 2017.

The tide of people moving across the world, be they immigrants or refugees, has sparked concern in Australia, Europe and the United States. In particular, the ethnic, linguistic and cultural background of migrants has triggered intense debates over the benefits and the costs of growing diversity and the risk of open borders to national identity. Unease over the cultural, economic and security ramifications of immigration helped to fuel the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, encourage the idea of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border and broaden support for right-wing populist parties in France, Germany and the Netherlands.

Debates over what it means to be a “true” American, Australian, German or other nationality have often highlighted the importance of a person being born in a particular country. But contrary to such rhetoric, a Pew Research Center survey finds that people generally place a relatively low premium on a person’s birthplace. Only 13% of Australians, 21% of Canadians, 32% of Americans and a median of 33% of Europeans believe that it is very important for a person to be born in their country in order to be considered a true national. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 34 pages, 1.06 MB].