Wednesday April 16th, 2014             A project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes

Large Majorities of Republicans and Democrats Agree on How to Reform Social Security

A new study, "Is It Really a Third Rail? How the American People Would Reform Social Security," released by the Program for Public Consultation on February 7, 2014, offers a provocative new look at public attitudes on the critical issue of Social Security reform, based on a recent online 'public consultation' with a large representative sample of Americans. When given information about the projected insolvency of Social Security and presented options for dealing with it, overwhelming majorities—including three in four Republicans and Democrats—favored taking steps that would eliminate most of the Social Security shortfall and a modest majority favored steps that would eliminate it entirely, through a combination of raising revenues and trimming benefits. Read More

Survey Reveals Common Ground Between Israelis and Palestinians on Peace Deal, But Obscured by Pessimism

An innovative survey of Israelis and Palestinians, released Dec. 6, 2013 at the Saban Center of the Brookings Institution, found that pessimism about current negotiations and the readiness of the other side to compromise has obscured the fact that there is substantial common ground between a majority of Israelis and Palestinians on a comprehensive peace agreement.

Only 4% of Israelis and 11% of Palestinians believe that current negotiations will bring an agreement in the next year, and half of both Israelis and Palestinians believe a peace agreement will never be reached. However, when Israelis and Palestinians were presented the same eight- point package deal covering what many experts regard as a possible framework for an agreement, six in ten on both sides approved of their government supporting the deal if the other side would support it as well. Read More | Read Full Report | View Questionnaire

Framing of Syria issue key to public support

By Steven Kull
Originally published on CNN's Global Public Square on September 5, 2013

President Barack Obama must pull off a difficult balancing act if he wishes to bring the American public around to supporting - or at least not opposing - military action against Syrian targets. But contrary to some reporting, public opinion is not overwhelmingly opposed and is not even fully yet crystallized. Indeed, large numbers say they are not sure and, most significant, polls show that different ways of framing the objective of the action can elicit very different responses.

While the Obama administration has tried to frame the action as limited and narrowly targeted at degrading Syrian capacity to deliver chemical weapons and deterring their use, much analysis and commentary portrays the United States as potentially entering into military conflict with the Syrian government with an implied or explicit objective of influencing the outcome, of the civil war, by those who favor as well as oppose such a move. These different framings poll very differently.


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New Book by Steven Kull

Feeling Betrayed: The Roots of Muslim Anger at America

Though it has been nearly a decade since the attacks of September 11, the threat of terrorism emanating from the Muslim world has not subsided. U.S. troops fight against radical Islamists overseas, and on a daily basis, Americans pass through body scanners as part of the effort to defend against another attack. Naturally, many Americans wonder what is occurring in Muslim society that breeds such hostility toward the United States.

Steven Kull, a political psychologist and acknowledged authority on international public opinion, has sought to understand more deeply how Muslims see America. How widespread is hostility toward the United States in the Muslim world? And what are its roots? How much support is there for radical groups that attack Americans, and why?

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WPO Media


February 21, 2012 NPR segment titled "Defense Cuts May No Longer Be Political Sacred Cow" which extensively references the May 2012 Program for Public Consultation Defense Budget study.