(A2-24) Foreign states and international organisations in Arab public perception

The legitimacy of international actors is a basic requirement so that the politics pursued by these actors can actually be implemented. The success of global or at least transnational governance is not least dependent on the acting states and international organisations being perceived as trustworthy and competent by those who are governed. This applies to free trade agreements between the EU and the USA and to military interventions by NATO or UN forces in areas of conflict or to development cooperation alike.

This is the backdrop against which the project “Foreign states and international organisations in Arab public perception” investigates the attitudes of citizens in Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan towards external actors (EU, UN, USA, France, Great Britain). In the focus of interest are are, on the one hand, the factors which cause these attitudes – e.g., religious denomination, elites’ attitudes and conduct of external actors. On the other hand, the question as to whether the Arab Spring has had any impact on these attitudes is being discussed. In addition to a direct influence of the events, for instance, it can be expected that in the course of the reform movements, some factors have been gaining in importance as far as the general public is concerned with respect to international actors, while other factors have been losing importance.

In order to answer these questions, survey data on the general public’s attitudes in the respective countries will be analysed in the project (Arab Barometer, PEW Global Attitudes Survey, European Neighborhood Barometer, etc.), and a quantitative media content analysis will also be conducted in order to find the – medially conveyed – elites’ positions towards external actors. By combining the different data and comparing different points in time, we will finally be in a significantly better position than previously to explain and understand the reasons for individual attitudes towards international actors and the Arab Spring’s role in these attitudes.

The Project is part of interconnecting platform E Differentiation and De-Differentiation.