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. In lead up to the 2016 presidential election, the survey explored anxieties of a significant segment of the American public, stemming from concerns about the effects of globalization on the American economy and about the changing demographics of the United States. The 2017 survey examined what American’s think about the America First strategy that President Donald Trump advocates. Conducted annually by a team of fellows and research associates, it continues to be one of the signature research products of the Council on. Each year the survey is cited in an array of 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 has surveyed American leaders in government, business, think tanks, religious organizations, and the academic 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. The Council’s work surveying the American public on US foreign policy is a signature area of study under the Lester Crown Center on US Foreign Policy, established in 2018 with a generous gift from the Crown family.