British Attitudes Towards the UK's International Priorities
Robin Niblett, Chatham House | July 2011
Chatham House's second survey in partnership with YouGov tests British thinking about the country's place in the world and assesses how this thinking may have changed during the coalition government's first year in office.
Key findings include:
- Support for close transatlantic relations declines with decreasing age, with 18–24-year-olds being the least supportive. This trend by age is notably less apparent in attitudes towards other rising economies.
- By a clear margin, most people think the most important focus of British foreign policy should be protecting its borders, including counter-terrorism; out of a list of ten items, the public's lowest priority is dealing with international crises.
- The four greatest threats to Britain (from a list of 12) are thought to be international terrorism, interruptions to energy supplies, organized crime (including drug- and people-trafficking) and instability in the world's financial system. Climate change is seen as far less of a threat.
- 40% think Britain's foreign policy over the past year has damaged Britain's reputation abroad; only 6% think it has enhanced its reputation.
British Attitudes Towards the UK’s International Priorities, Survey Analysis, July 2011. This document includes analysis of the results by Dr Robin Niblett, and Chatham House experts Kerry Brown, Tom Cargill, James Nixey, Xenia Dormandy, Gareth Price, Bernice Lee, Rob Bailey, Charles Emmerson, Felix Preston, and Jane Kinninmont. Lord Malloch-Brown, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, and Peter Kellner also offer their analysis. Download the PDF