Anxious Americans Seek a New Direction in United States Foreign Policy

November 1, 2008
The American public is concerned about US standing in the world and supportive of a series of targetedchanges in foreign policy to address perceived problems. While the changes appear more pragmatic than ideological, they add up to a strong shift in direction, with an emphasis on using diplomacy and working through multilateral institutions to tackle problems, even while keeping a strong military presence worldwide.

For its 2008 public opinion study, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs asked more than fifty questions designed to gauge American attitudes on a number of foreign and domestic policy issues in the lead-up to the 2008 presidential elections. The results were initially released in four topical reports.  A brief follow-up survey was conducted in September 2008 to determine the effect of the unfolding economic crisis on attitudes towards globalization. The results of this shorter survey are also available in the full report of findings.

The Chicago Council has been conducting nationwide public opinion surveys on American views on foreign policy since 1974. These surveys provide insights into the current and long-term foreign policy attitudes of the American public on a wide range of global topics. The Global Views 2008 report is based on the results of a nationwide survey of 1,505 American adults conducted between July 3 and July 15, 2008, and has a margin of sampling error between ±3.7 percentage points and ±2.5 percentage points.

Generous support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the McCormick Foundation and the United States-Japan Foundation made this project possible.
Anxious Americans Seek a New Direction in United States Foreign Policy