Since the beginning of this century, a world public opinion industry has developed and became a staple of public opinion reporting. The Pew and Gallup organizations are the most visible in America, but there are a large number of organizations that collect data from reputable local polling vendors and aggregate it into studies and reports for private and public consumption.
One of the frequent users of the data was Dan Lund of Mexico-based Mund Group. Sadly, Dan just died from a sudden heart attack, and you can see his last analysis of world opinion published by GlobeScan here.
A few interesting observations from Dan’s final report are that when national populations were asked if they felt the world was going in the right direction, in North and Latin Americas, two of its most pessimistic countries are the USA and Mexico. Assuming the public is both reflecting their views of their own country’s direction and their nation’s position in the world, citizens of both the USA and Mexico are not pleased. And Europe, Italy and France are the least positive on the world direction. Japan joins the least positive group from Asia.
The most positive national populations are the more authoritarian states of Russia and China, who are also benefiting from upward economic surges that have given broad elements of their population hope for the future. In Asia, India is also highly optimistic about the world direction.