Agadjanina '18 and Prof. Horiuchi's article published in the Monkey Cage


Since Trump’s election, the U.S. image abroad has plummeted. But is it really just about Trump?


A recent Pew Research Center report found continued evidence for a sharp downturn in how foreigners view the United States. According to Pew, 70 percent of people outside the United States have no confidence in President Trump to do the right thing in world affairs. This negative perception has had repercussions for America’s international image, with views toward the United States at historic lows in many countries — well below the overwhelmingly positive views during the Obama presidency. But exactly how has foreign public opinion toward the United States shifted in the first two years of the Trump administration? Addressing this question sheds light on implications for U.S. soft power — the ability to influence other countries without power or coercion, which can come from how foreigners view the United States. Our research, detailed in a new article in Political Behavior, found that Trump does not unconditionally shape foreign opinion of the United States. Instead, citizens abroad react more to the content of a U.S. policy message — whether it is cooperative or uncooperative in nature.


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