World wants more cooperative governments

World wants more cooperative governments

As the European Union begins to implement a new treaty aimed at assisting member nations to work together, and as American President Barack Obama is to receive a Nobel Prize awarded for his efforts in international cooperation, a poll of peoples in 21 nations across the globe has discovered that public opinion in 14 of the nations surveyed think their governments should be more ready to cooperate with others to achieve mutual gains.

However, in six nations more people demur and say that their government tends to be too willing to compromise and is often taken advantage.

The release of the poll’s findings comes at a time when international cooperation figures prominently in the media and debate. World leaders are currently gathering in Copenhagen to look into cooperative means for addressing climate change. In Europe, the new Lisbon Treaty took effect on Tuesday, which is meant to draw European countries into a more highly integrated union.

President Obama, meanwhile, will receive the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10, which he won largely for taking a more cooperative stance with the rest of the world. And indeed the poll found that in 15 of 19 nations the US is now seen as generally cooperative.

On average across all nations surveyed, 55% of those polled believe that their leaders “should be more ready to act cooperatively to achieve mutual gains.” 39 percent of those polled say their governments tend to be “too willing to compromise and are often taken advantage of.”

The poll shows the highest levels of support for greater cooperation are among Turks (81%), Egyptians (76%), and Nigerians (73%). Palestinians are also among the highest (69%), a positive indicator for potential Middle East peace negotiations.

Publics calling for greater cooperation also are found in the largest and most powerful countries, including Americans (54%), Chinese (63%), Russians (54%) and Indians (59%). Though Indians favor greater cooperation, only 42 percent of Pakistanis say the same.

“Interestingly, the most distinct cluster of nations with low numbers calling for greater cooperation are in the EU. Less than half feel their government should be more cooperative in Britain (31%), Poland (34%), France (43%), and Germany (47%). This may be because they feel that they are already cooperative enough, especially in the context of the EU and in their relations with the United States,” a statement from said.

The poll includes 20,349 respondents in 21 nations that comprise 64 percent of the world’s population. This includes most of the largest nations–China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Russia–as well as Mexico, Chile, Germany, Great Britain, France, Poland, Ukraine, Kenya, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan, the Palestinian territories, and South Korea. Polling was also conducted in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Not all questions were asked to all nations. The margins of error range from +/-3 to 4 percentage points. The surveys were conducted across the different nations between April 4 and July 9, 2009.


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