How Americans feel about Asian countries and why

Benjamin I Page*, Julia Rabinovich, David G. Tully

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Americans' feelings about foreign countries are embedded in foreign policy belief systems and affect policy preferences. The analysis of nine surveys of the US general public conducted between 1978 and 2006 indicates that on average Americans have had rather lukewarm or slightly cool, nearly neutral, feelings toward China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia; warm feelings toward Japan and Australia; and cold feelings toward North Korea and (at least since 2001) toward Pakistan and Afghanistan. Individuals' feelings are affected by certain personal and social characteristics. High levels of formal education tend to make people feel considerably warmer toward most of these countries - especially Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. Education increases information: those who know more about the world generally express warmer feelings. But most important are internationalist attitudes, especially putting a relatively low priority on US domestic threats and concerns, embracing capitalism and world markets, and espousing world antipoverty goals. National security considerations play only a limited part. Policy implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-59
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of East Asian Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


  • Capitalism
  • Education
  • Foreign policy (US)
  • Information
  • Internationalism
  • Isolationism
  • Poverty
  • Public opinion (US)
  • World markets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


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