The survey of two dozen countries, conducted this spring by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, also found a growing despondency over the international economy, with majorities in 18 nations , including US allies Britain, Germany, Australia, Turkey, France and Japan, sharing a widespread sense the American economy was hurting their countries.
Views of the U.S. improved or stayed the same as last year in 18 nations, the first positive signs the poll has found for the U.S. image worldwide this decade. Even so, many improvements were modest and the U.S. remains less popular in most countries than it was before it invaded Iraq in 2003, with majorities in only eight expressing favorable opinions.
Andrew Kohut, president of Pew, said many seem to be hoping the U.S. role in the world will improve with the departure of President George W. Bush, who remains profoundly unpopular almost everywhere. "People think the U.S. wants to run the world," said Kohut. "It's not more complicated than that."