America is turning a popularity corner. In a BBC World Service poll, 35 percent of people from all over the world said the US has a positive influence, up from 31 percent last year. The view that the US has a negative influence declined from 52 percent to 47 percent.
The pollsters credit various factors including: extra attention to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process; a firmer stance on global warming; the election of pro-US Nicolas Sarkozy in France; decreased violence in Iraq; and the upcoming presidential election. World citizens hope that the next president will pursue a more collaborative foreign policy.
Comparatively, Iran and Israel received the most negative ratings. Doing a 180 from about 60 years ago, Japan and Germany have the highest positive ratings. Russia gets a 37 percent approval rating, higher than the US.
Surprised by these results? Do you think approval will increase with the next US president, or is a superpower destined to be judge critically?