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Global poll suggests widespread unease about economy and globalisation


In 22 out of 34 countries around the world, the weight of opinion is that "economic globalisation – including trade and investment" is growing too quickly, suggests a BBC World Service poll of 34,500 people.

 

On average one out of two (50%) hold this view, while 35% say globalisation is growing too slowly.

 

In the G7 countries – whose finance ministers are meeting this weekend – an average of 57% say globalisation is growing too quickly.

 

Related to this unease is an even stronger view that the benefits and burdens of "the economic developments of the last few years" have not been shared fairly. Majorities in 27 out of 34 countries hold this view – on average 64%.

 

In developed countries, those who have this view of unfairness are more likely to say that globalisation is growing too quickly – especially in France, Italy, Spain, South Korea, Japan and Germany (and to a lesser extent Britain and the United States).

 

In contrast, in some developing countries, those who perceive such unfairness are more likely to say globalisation is proceeding too slowly. These include Turkey, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil, Kenya, Mexico and the countries of Central America.

 

Only 19% overall say globalisation is growing much too quickly, while 32% say it is growing a bit too quickly.

 

The survey was conducted for the BBC World Service by the international polling firm GlobeScan together with the Program On International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. GlobeScan coordinated fieldwork between 31 October 2007 and 25 January 2008.

 

Steven Kull of PIPA comments: "Few want to slam the brakes on globalisation, though many want to press the brakes lightly. Also, people in some developing countries still want to accelerate globalisation and appear to believe that this will help break down some of the inequities in their country."

 

Though interviews (except in India) were completed before the sharp fall in global stock markets in mid-January, there was already a predominant view that economic conditions were getting worse in their country (on average 52% worse, 41% better) as well as in the global economy (46% worse, 40% better).

 

GlobeScan President Doug Miller says: "There is real public unease about the direction of the economy, but it's not only about a downturn. It also has to do with how fairly benefits and burdens are shared, and the pace of globalisation."

 

Participating countries:

 

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Central America*
  • Chile
  • China
  • Egypt
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Great Britain
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kenya
  • Lebanon
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Philippines
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Turkey
  • UAE
  • United States

*Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama

 

Note: In Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Lebanon, the Philippines, Portugal, Turkey, UAE, and the countries of Central America urban samples were used.

 

Other highlights

 

Perceptions of domestic economic conditions vary widely. In ten countries, a majority perceives improvement (led by China 84%, Canada 72%, Australia 71%, UAE 69%, Russia 63% and India 56%), while in 21 a majority perceives their country worsening (led by Italy 86%, the Philippines 76%, Indonesia 76%, USA 74% and Portugal 72%).

 

The perception that the benefits and burdens of economic development have not been fairly distributed in their country is highest in South Korea (86%), Italy (84%), Portugal (84%), Japan (83%), Chile (82%), Lebanon (82%) and Turkey (82%).

 

In just six countries, majorities perceived their economy as fair – UAE (72%), Australia (58%), Canada (58%), China (58%), Ghana (53%) and Nigeria (53%).

 

The view that globalisation is growing too quickly is especially widespread in Egypt (77%), UAE (77%), Australia (73%), China (72%), Spain (68%) and France (64%).

 

The only countries with majorities saying that globalisation is growing too slowly are the Philippines (71%), Turkey (71%), Indonesia (53%) and Brazil (51%).

 

The correlation between the perception of economic fairness and attitudes about globalisation varies across countries. In 12 countries the most common view is that the economy is unfair and that globalisation is going too fast.

 

This is primarily true of highly developed countries (France, Italy, Spain, South Korea, Japan, Germany, and to a lesser extent Britain and the US). However it is also true of Lebanon, Argentina, Israel and Chile.

 

However, in eight cases the most common view is both that the economy in their country is unfair and that globalisation should be sped up. These include Turkey, the Philippines, Portugal, Indonesia, Brazil, Kenya, Mexico and the countries of Central America.

 

In eight countries the most common view is that their economy is fair but that globalisation is nonetheless moving too quickly. These include three developed countries – Australia, Canada and UAE; as well as five developing countries – Egypt, China, India, Ghana and Nigeria.

 

Russians widely agree that the economy has been unfair but they are divided as to the pace of globalisation.

 

In total 34,528 citizens in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Ghana, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, UAE, and the United States were interviewed face-to-face or by telephone between 31 October 2007 and 25 January 2008.

 

Polling was conducted for the BBC World Service by the international polling firm GlobeScan and its research partners in each country. In 16 of the 34 countries, the sample was limited to major urban areas. The margin of error per country ranges from +/-2.4 to 4.4 percent.

 

BBC World Service Press office

 

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Category: World Service
Date: 07.02.2008
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