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Transatlantic Trends Survey, 2006 (ICPSR 20302)

Principal Investigator(s):


This study sought opinions from respondents across Europe and the United States on various topics pertaining to foreign policy and international relations. The primary topics included: (1) the state of relations between the European Union (EU) and the United States, (2) the George W. Bush Administration's handling of global affairs, (3) the functioning of the European Union (EU), (4) the relevance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), (5) general opinions on various countries, institutions, and population groups, (6) perception of potential international threats, (7) China as an emerging power, (8) Iran and its pursuit of nuclear weapons, (9) civil liberties and national security, (10) the compatibility of Islam and democracy, and (11) the role of the EU and the United States in establishing democracy. Respondents were asked about relations between the United States and Europe including whether it was desirable for the EU to exert strong leadership in the world, whether they were in favor of the United States exerting strong leadership in the world, whether relations between the United States and Europe had improved or gotten worse, and how relations between the United States and Europe regarding security and diplomatic affairs should evolve in the future. Respondents also were asked whether they approved or disapproved of the way George W. Bush was handling international policies. There were several questions that related to the functioning of the EU, such as (1) whether the EU should have its own foreign minister, (2) whether military or economic power is more important when dealing with international problems, (3) whether the EU should seek to strengthen its military power, (4) what effect Turkey's membership would have on the EU, and (5) how further enlargement would change the EU's role in world affairs and its ability to promote peace and democracy. Respondents were questioned about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and whether they believed NATO was still essential to their country's national security. Respondents were asked to give their opinions on the following countries, institutions, and population groups using a scale of 0 (very cold, unfavorable feeling) to 100 (very warm, favorable feeling): the United States, Russia, Israel, the European Union, Palestinians, Italy, Turkey, China, Iran, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Spain. Respondents were also asked about potential threats facing Europe and the United States such as international terrorism, the inflow of immigrants and refugees, Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, the spread of diseases like avian flu, a major economic downturn, global warming, the growing economic and military power of China, instability in Iraq, and Islamic fundamentalism. Respondents were then asked if they perceived these threats to be important in the next ten years. With respect to Iran, respondents were asked whether action should be taken to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons, what would be the best and worst options for preventing Iran from obtaining them, whether military action should be taken if diplomacy could not prevent Iran from obtaining them, and which country or organization was best suited for handling the issue of Iranian nuclear weapons. The survey contained a series of questions relating to national security and civil liberties. Opinions were sought on whether respondents would support the government taking actions such as monitoring phone calls, Internet communication, and banking transactions made by citizens, all in the name of preventing terrorism. Questions were also asked about Islam and democracy including whether the values of the two institutions were compatible or not, and if there were problems, whether they existed in Islam as a whole or just in certain Islamic groups. In addition, respondents were asked if the EU and the United States should help establish democracy in other countries, whether this help should be dependent on whether or not the countries would be more likely to oppose the EU and/or the United States, and whether the EU and United States should monitor elections in new democracies, support independent groups and political dissidents, impose political and/or economic sanctions, or intervene militarily in order to establish democracy. Finally, respondents were asked about their voting intentions for the next elections and what factors they took into consideration when deciding for which party to vote. The survey also included several questions aimed at obtaining demographic information such as gender, age, level of education, occupation, household size, region, and ethnicity.

Series: Transatlantic Trends Survey Series

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Study Description


Isernia, Pierangelo, Craig Kennedy, Natalie La Balme, Philip Everts, and Richard Eichenberg. Transatlantic Trends Survey, 2006. ICPSR20302-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-01-07. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR20302.v1

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This study was funded by:

  • German Marshall Fund of the United States
  • Compagnia di San Paolo (Italy)
  • Fundacao Luso-Americana (Portugal)
  • Fundacion BBVA (Spain)
  • Institute for Public Affairs (Slovakia)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   Bush Administration (George W., 2001-2009), civil rights, counterterrorism, democracy, epidemics, European unification, European Union, foreign policy, global warming, immigration, international affairs, international relations, Islam, military interventions, national security, NATO, nuclear weapons, political power, politics, religious fundamentalism, sanctions, terrorism, United Nations, voter preferences

Geographic Coverage:   Bulgaria, Europe, France, Germany, Global, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States

Time Period:  

  • 2005-06-05--2006-06-24

Date of Collection:  

  • 2005-06-05--2006-06-24

Unit of Observation:   individual

Universe:   People aged 18 and older in Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Additional information regarding this data collection can be found at: http://www.transatlantictrends.org/trends/index.cfm?id=36.

The variable labels contain original question numbers, and the questionnaire includes variable numbers associated with each question to facilitate referencing between the data and the survey instrument.

Due to certain restrictions that limit the length of value labels, some labels are truncated when analyzing data with SAS, SPSS, and Stata. Complete variable labels can be found in the original questionnaire, which is located in the study codebook.


Sample:   In all countries a random sample of approximately 1,000 men and women, aged 18 and older, was interviewed.

Weight:   The weighting system used is the raking ratio technique, a common technique used in sample surveys for improving the precision and reducing the bias of estimators, which uses iterative proportional fitting. In practice, for each of the variables of interest a new variable is computed, which accounts for the different proportions in sample and in population. This process is iterated until the difference between the population value and the sample value is sufficiently small, usually two or three times. In this case, raking ratio adjustment is made using the variables: age, education, gender, and population. The variable VAR101 contains the weight calculated using the variables: age, education, and gender in this order. In the United States race is not considered. VAR102 contains the weight calculated as in VAR101 but with race included in the United States. VAR098 is the weight calculated for each country size with the exception of Spain, Slovakia, Turkey, and Romania and Bulgaria. VAR099 is calculated for each country size with the exception of Turkey and Romania and Bulgaria. VAR100 contains the weight calculated as in VAR098 and VAR099 for all European countries including Turkey. The variables VAR098, VAR099, and VAR100 contain a weight calculated for each country according to the size of its population.

Mode of Data Collection:   face-to-face interview, computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI), paper and pencil interview (PAPI), computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI)

Response Rates:   The average response rate for the 13 countries surveyed was approximately 23 percent (13,044/42,898).


Original ICPSR Release:  

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