Global Views 2008: American Public Opinion and Foreign Policy (ICPSR 26301)

Published: Apr 12, 2010

Principal Investigator(s):
Marshall Bouton, Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Gregory Holyk, University of Illinois-Chicago; Steven Kull, University of Maryland. Program on International Policy Attitudes; Benjamin Page, Northwestern University


Version V1

This study is part of a quadrennial series designed to investigate the opinions and attitudes of the general public on matters related to foreign policy, and to define the parameters of public opinion within which decision-makers must operate. This public opinion study of the United States focused on respondents' opinions of the United States leadership role in the world and the challenges the country faces internationally and is comprised of two parts, the July 2008 and the September 2008 surveys. In particular, the July 2008 survey covers United States foreign policy, globalization, trade and immigration, the rise of China, and the United States-Japan relationship. Regarding United States foreign policy, respondents were asked to give their views on whether the United States should take an active part in world affairs, threats to vital interests in the next ten years, foreign policy goals, treaties and agreements, the United Nations and the United Nations Security Council, conflict between Christians and Muslims, and combating terrorism. Additional questions included whether respondents favored the United States having military bases in other countries, their opinions about justifications for the use of United States troops abroad, the Iraq War, nuclear weapons and nuclear fuel, and participants' views on several countries and world organizations. Regarding globalization, trade, and immigration, respondents gave their opinions on whether globalization is good or bad for the United States, lowering trade barriers, the trade practices of various countries, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), economic competitiveness of the United States economy, and the future of United States power and the next generation of Americans. In addition, on the topic of globalization and immigration, queries included the importance of Asia and Europe, the pace of globalization, fairness of income distribution, foreign investments in American companies, the level of legal immigration into the United States and whether or not immigration is good. Concerning the rise of China, respondents were asked to compare the size and potential of the United States and China economies and their implications, loans between the countries, how to deal with China's increase in power, and whether China or Japan is more important to the United States. On the subject of the United States-Japan relationship, participants gave their opinions regarding the amending of Japan's constitution to allow for a wider range of military activities, Japan's development of nuclear weapons, and what factors contribute to Japan's global influence. Part 2, the September 2008 survey, commissioned to gauge whether any substantial changes in attitudes occurred due to the financial crisis, repeated a subset of questions from the July 2008 survey and focused on respondents' attitudes toward trade and globalization. Demographic and other background information includes age, race, gender, marital status, religious affiliation, political party affiliation, employment status, education, household composition, type of housing, state of residence, and access to the Internet.

Bouton, Marshall, Holyk, Gregory, Kull, Steven, and Page, Benjamin. Global Views 2008: American Public Opinion and Foreign Policy. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-04-12.

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (09-91151-000-GSS)

Robert R. McCormick Foundation

United States-Japan Foundation (2008-03)



2008-07-03 -- 2008-07-15

2008-09-22 -- 2008-09-26

As variable and value labels may appear truncated in the SPSS, SAS, and Stata setup and system files, please refer to "Appendix A: Questionnaire" section of the ICPSR codebook for full labels.

In the July 2008 survey, some questions were asked of the entire sample and other questions were asked of a portion of the sample. Please see the "Processing Notes" section of the ICPSR codebook further information.

A special collaborator on this study was Michael Green, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Random sample.

Persons aged 18 years and older who live in the United States.


survey data

web-based survey

65 percent for July survey; 51 percent for September survey



2010-04-12 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Please refer to the "Sample Weights" section of the Knowledge Networks Field Report for the July 2008 and September 2008 surveys in the ICPSR codebook.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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