For more than 40 years, the Chicago Council Survey has captured the sense of particular eras ― post-Vietnam, post-Cold War, post-9/11 ― and highlighted critical shifts in American public thinking on US foreign policy. Since first conducted in 1974, the Chicago Council Survey has been a valuable resource for policymakers, academics, media, and the general public. The 2015 survey examined political partisanship and US foreign policy in advance of the 2016 presidential primary season. The 2014 survey analyzed American public opinion in the age of retrenchment. And the 2012 survey tracked public opinion on US foreign policy more than 10 years after 9/11. Now conducted annually by a team of fellows and research associates, it continues to be one of the signature research products of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Each year the survey is cited in an array of sources including major regional, national, and international media and receives substantial interest from officials in both US and foreign governments.
In addition to surveying the American public, from time to time the Council on Global Affairs has surveyed American leaders in government, business, think tanks, religious organizations, and the academy to compare trends in their thinking with overall trends. The Council also works with partner organizations in the Asia-Pacific to periodically conduct parallel surveys of public opinion across the region. More recently the Council has conducted surveys on specific topics within its areas of expertise, including a survey of Midwestern business professionals on their opinions of national immigration policies and of the American public on the use of scientific techniques in food production.