Poll: Americans Now Less Anxious about Foreign Policy, But Party Matters

According to a new poll, Americans are less worried about US foreign policy and feeling better about how the world views the US. Good news, right?

However, being "less anxious" doesn't mean that a majority are confident in the direction of the US in the world.  Then there are the partisan differences:
"When the Anxiety Indicator is calculated by party, Republican worries have soared from a relatively low level of 108 in 2008 to 134 today. By contrast, Democratic anxiety -- which was 142 in 2008 -- has now fallen to relatively calm 104. Independents were at 140 in 2008 and are still fairly anxious at 128, but that's a notable decline."
 The differences hold about the general direction of the country:
 "In 2008, only 20 percent of Democrats said the country was going in the right direction, compared with 45 percent of Republicans.
Now the Democrats’ view has shifted a staggering 41 points, to 61 percent who think the country is going in the right direction, while Republicans’ rating has dropped to only one-quarter (26 percent). Independents are far less enthusiastic than Democrats are, but their "right direction" number has doubled from 16 percent to 32 percent."

Much more info on the Public Agenda home page and the high points on Laura Rozen's blog.


Reading List: How Enemies Become Friends - The Sources of Stable Pace

For those of you interested in keeping up with the latest in "high politics," check out Charlie Kupchan's How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace out in March 2010.  As those of you who visit this page might suspect, Kupchan argues that diplomacy is key to converting enemies into friends.

Available through the Council on Foreign Relations, Steve Clemons gives it a positive first impression.

The publisher's write up is here:

"Is the world destined to suffer endless cycles of conflict and war? Can rival nations become partners and establish a lasting and stable peace? How Enemies Become Friends provides a bold and innovative account of how nations escape geopolitical competition and replace hostility with friendship. Through compelling analysis and rich historical examples that span the globe and range from the thirteenth century through the present, foreign policy expert Charles Kupchan explores how adversaries can transform enmity into amity—and he exposes prevalent myths about the causes of peace.

Kupchan contends that diplomatic engagement with rivals, far from being appeasement, is critical to rapprochement between adversaries. Diplomacy, not economic interdependence, is the currency of peace; concessions and strategic accommodation promote the mutual trust needed to build an international society. The nature of regimes matters much less than commonly thought: countries, including the United States, should deal with other states based on their foreign policy behavior rather than on whether they are democracies. Kupchan demonstrates that similar social orders and similar ethnicities, races, or religions help nations achieve stable peace. He considers many historical successes and failures, including the onset of friendship between the United States and Great Britain in the early twentieth century, the Concert of Europe, which preserved peace after 1815 but collapsed following revolutions in 1848, and the remarkably close partnership of the Soviet Union and China in the 1950s, which descended into open rivalry by the 1960s."