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Global Leadership Perception: Germany Tops, U.S. Slips, Russia Lags in New Gallup Poll

Global Leadership Perception

Germany ranks first, followed by the United States, Russia ranks last, and China ranks first in recognition rate in Africa

Germany is currently the top country in global leadership with an approval rate of 46%, surpassing the United States at 41%. The United States has seen slight declines in leadership approval ratings in some African countries and in India, with a disapproval rate of 36%. The conflict in Gaza has affected U.S. approval ratings in some countries, while its support for Israel has caused its approval rating in Israel to rise to 81%.

There is a perceived lack of consistency in the U.S.’s use of international humanitarian and human rights law, as it condemns Russia’s actions in Ukraine but does not criticize Israel and other allies for violations in Gaza. Russia has a negative perception, particularly in Europe, with disapproval rates exceeding 90%, but overall approval of Russian leadership is expected to increase slightly in 2023. China has the highest recognition rate in Africa, followed closely by the United States, Germany, and Russia.

Key Concepts

  • Germany leads in global leadership approval with 46%, followed by the United States at 41%.
  • Germany’s leadership recognition rate in Europe is at 60%, surpassing the United States by double digits.
  • The United States has seen slight declines in leadership approval ratings in some African countries and in India.
  • U.S. approval ratings have been affected by the conflict in Gaza.
  • The United States’ support for Israel has caused its approval rating in Israel to rise to 81%.
  • The U.S. has a perceived lack of consistency in its use of international humanitarian and human rights law.
  • The United States veto of the Gaza ceasefire agreement has raised concerns about eroding confidence in international law.
  • Russia has high disapproval rates in Europe, but overall approval of Russian leadership is expected to increase slightly in 2023.
  • China has the highest recognition rate in Africa, followed closely by the United States, Germany, and Russia.
  • The United States is generally seen as having more soft power globally.

A new Gallup poll covering 133 countries released on Tuesday (April 23) shows that Germany is the number one country in global leadership.

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Germany’s approval rate in 2023 is 46%, followed by the United States at 41%.

As Europe’s largest economy, Germany’s leadership recognition rate on the continent is as high as 60%, surpassing the United States by double digits.

The United States, historically the dominant power, has seen slight declines in leadership approval ratings in some African countries and India, the world’s most populous country.

Disapproval of U.S. leadership rose to 36%, 1 percentage point more than in 2022.

The conflict in Gaza appears to have affected U.S. approval ratings in some countries. Gallup noted that approval of the United States fell slightly in countries surveyed after the conflict began.

The United States’ unwavering support for Israel appears to have caused its approval rating in Israel to soar to 81%, but its approval rating for the “state of Palestine” in the polls has dropped to 11%.

Maryam Zarnegar Deloffre, professor of international affairs at George Washington University, said: “There is a perceived lack of consistency in the U.S.’s use of international humanitarian law and human rights law as it condemns Russia’s atrocities in Ukraine but does not criticize Israel and other allies for violating international humanitarian law in Gaza.”

Deloffre told the media that the United States’ veto of the Gaza ceasefire agreement, which is supported by the majority of United Nations member states, could erode people’s confidence in international law.

The poll also showed a dismal image of Russia, especially in Europe, where the disapproval rate exceeded 90%.

But overall, the approval rate for Russian leadership will be 22% in 2023, higher than 21% in 2022.

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In Africa, China has the highest recognition rate at 58%, followed by the United States (56%), Germany (54%), and Russia (42%).

But in much of the world, the United States is considered to have more soft power than China.

Globally, U.S. leadership approval rates in Kosovo (84%) are higher than elsewhere in the world.

The Russian Federation has the highest disapproval rate of the United States at 88%.

In the Americas, the United States has the highest recognition rate at 39%, followed by Germany at 29%.

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