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

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


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.

Series: American Public Opinion and United States Foreign Policy Series

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  July 2008 Survey - Download All Files (14.686 MB)
SAS    SPSS    Stata    ASCII    Excel/TSV
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS2:  September 2008 Survey - Download All Files (7.266 MB)
SAS    SPSS    Stata    ASCII    Excel/TSV
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   

Study Description


Bouton, Marshall, Gregory Holyk, Steven Kull, and Benjamin Page. Global Views 2008: American Public Opinion and Foreign Policy. ICPSR26301-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-04-12. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR26301.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR26301.v1

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (09-91151-000-GSS)
  • Robert R. McCormick Foundation
  • United States-Japan Foundation (2008-03 )

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    arms control, climate change, conflict resolution, developing nations, disarmament, economic issues, European Union, foreign affairs, foreign aid, foreign policy, global warming, globalization, human rights, immigration, immigration policy, international agreements, international alliances, international assistance, international conflict, international cooperation, international law, international markets, international organizations, international relations, Iraq War, Israeli Palestinian conflict, Middle East, military bases, military expenditures, military intervention, military operations, NAFTA, national interest, national security, nations, nuclear weapons, policy making, political systems, public approval, public opinion, religion, religious beliefs, religious fundamentalism, terrorism, world politics, world problems

Smallest Geographic Unit:    state

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 2008

Date of Collection:   

  • 2008-07-03--2008-07-15
  • 2008-09-22--2008-09-26

Unit of Observation:    individual

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

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

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

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.

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.


Sample:    Random sample.

Weight:    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.

Mode of Data Collection:    web-based survey

Response Rates:    65 percent for July survey; 51 percent for September survey

Extent of Processing:   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.


Original ICPSR Release:   2010-04-12



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