To See Ourselves as Others See Us: How Publics Abroad View the United States After 9/11

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In terms of military and economic power, the United States remains one of the strongest nations in the world. Yet the U.S. seems to have lost the power of persuasion, the ability to make allies and win international support.Why? Immediately after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, leaders and citizens of foreign nations generally expressed sympathy for the U.S. Since then, attitudes have changed. Drawing upon public opinion surveys conducted in 30 nations, Ole R. Holsti documents an increasing anti-American sentiment. His analysis suggests that the war in Iraq, human rights violations, and unpopular international policies are largely responsible. Consequently, the U.S. can rebuild its repute only by adopting an unselfish, far-sighted approach to global issues.Indeed, we must restore goodwill abroad, Holsti asserts, because public opinion influences other nations' policies toward the U.S.As anti-American sentiment grows abroad, the U.S. is losing the power of persuasion.