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Global Views on Countries’ Influence

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People in twenty-one countries were asked their opinions about (apparently) sixteen countries. The questions were about which of the listed sixteen countries had a rather positive or rather negative influence in the world. The survey was conducted by Globescan, for the BBC World Service.

How do people see their own country’s influence?

1. Chinese views of China’s influence: 92% vs. 6%.

2. Canadian views of Canada’s influence: 86% vs. 7%.

3. Russian views of Russia’s influence: 82% vs. 2%.

4. German views of German influence: 80% vs. 4%.

5. French views of France’s influence: 72% vs. 13%.

6. British views of the UK’s influence: 63% vs. 23%.

7. American views of America’s influence: 60% vs. 31%.

8. Indian views of India’s influence: 51% vs. 7%.

9. Japanese views of Japan’s influence: 41% vs. 11%.

Not every country where people were interviewed is also included in the list of countries rated – therefore, the number of countries where you can learn about peoples’ perception of their own country is rather limited.

There can be many reasons why people view their countries’ more or less positively. The American, British, French and Indian results surprised me. Then again, maybe they look at it more realistically than others, because they don’t care that much? Or are they so critical of their country’s role?

There are first public but anonymous reactions, on my loved-hated source Spiegel Online for example. Please go to their article’s forum…

Akbatur: As a Turk who was born in Germany but never was at home here thanks to world-famous German hospitality and latent xenophobia, I doubt the significance of this survey. One only lives in Germany because one has to live here (family, money, etc.) and not because one really wants to live here. When someone moves between two cultures as I do, he has enough opportunities to compare and let them catch their own reflexion. In my view, the Germans are extremely cold-hearted, arrogant, and selfish. I’m not the only one who thinks so. All foreigners who I asked share my assessment. Noone of them took to the Germans. On the other hand, time and again, I find the affectionate cohesion solicitousness that only Turks can offer. Something that Germans don’t have at all.

But who cares. May the Germans indulge in their We-are-the-best eurphoria. The reality looks different.

I must admit that I’m sceptical of the survey myself, although “affectionate cohesion” wasn’t really the issue. But I sort of like leerzeichen’s answer to Akbatur anyway:

leerzeichen (quote Akbatur): On the other hand, time and again, I find the affectionate cohesion solicitousness that only Turks can offer. Something that Germans don’t have at all. (unquote). I’m sure you are right about that. On the other hand, noone who tries to escape that kind of cohesion gets shot by German tradition…

OK. Let me leave you with another Great Patriotic War in another time, another place…


Written by taide

February 7, 2009 at 11:08 am

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