The American people want to play an active part in world affairs but their internationalism is increasingly constrained by economic troubles at home and diminished influence overseas, according to The Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ 2010 survey of public opinion on US foreign policy. The Chicago Council released Global Views 2010–Constrained Internationalism: Adapting to New Realities, a report of the survey findings, at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. on September 16, 2010.
The 2010 survey polled more than 2,500 Americans on over one hundred questions on various aspects of US foreign policy, including terrorism, nuclear proliferation, China’s rise, the Afghanistan War, and attitudes toward other countries. According Global Views 2010, Americans are reassessing their foreign policy priorities, scaling back their ambitions, and becoming more selective in how they want to engage with the world—by lightening America’s footprint overseas and directing scarce resources to tackling critical threats, such as international terrorism and nuclear proliferation.
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 2010 report is based on the results of a nationwide survey of 2,596 adults conducted between June 11 and June 22, 2010, and has a margin of error between 1.9 and 3.3 percent.
Generous support from the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the McCormick Foundation, and the Korea Foundation has made this project possible.