Monday, October 15, 2007

Bangladesh in the latest Pew Global Survey

Not sure why Bangladeshi bloggers missed important findings of a global survey titled: World Publics Welcome Global Trade but Not Immigration, released on 4th October. Among many Bangladesh-specific findings, the survey by the Pew Research Center found support for capitalism in Bangladesh soared from 32 percent five years ago to 81 percent today.

I will try to present some results related to Bangladesh. Former US Secretary of State Medeleine Albright is the co-chair of this project called Pew Global Attitude Survey. As many of you know, Pew Research Centre is Washington DC based ‘fact tank’ that previously carried seven such surveyes and this eighth in the series had 47 countries surveyed that includes Bangladesh. India and Pakistan are two other South Asian countries that participated in the survey, containing a total of 105 questions with sub-questions in few categories.

Out of a total sampling population of 45,239, Bangladesh’s survey was carried out among 1000 national samples (strong urban bias), with a three per cent error margin. The timing of this survey in Bangladesh is interesting, from April 11 to 30 of this year, just after three months of 1/11.

Without much ado, let us see some of the results by Bangladeshi respondents and try to find meaning ‘in between the lines’.

1.90% support free trade, 75% have positive views about foreign companies and 81% support free markets.
2.Impact of foreign companies registered a 27% rise, from 2002’s 48% to 75% in 2007.
3.49% increase in this view that people are better in free market, it jumped from 32% in 2002 to 81% in 2007.
4.65% completely agree that the state should take care of the poor, while 93% mostly agree with this statement.
5.93% agree that protection of environment is important, even it slows down growth and costs jobs. Only 4% disagree.
6.84% believe the government has more control, a sharp rise of 45% from 2002’s 39%
7.90% overwhelmingly said yes to the statement that ‘must believe in God to be moral, while only 6% replied in negative.
8.59% want to keep religion and Government separate, an increase of 6% from 2002’s 53%.
9.51% see a struggle between modernization and fundamentalism. Of those 51% only 18% are in favor of modernization, while 31% in favor of fundamentalism.
10.87% agree that sometimes military forces is necessary to maintain order in the world (This is a more worrying results and supports One World Government agenda)
11.52% feel men are generally make political leaders, only 8% supports women, while 41% feels equally.
12.89% agree that women should have the right to decide if they wear a veil, only 11% disagree. This is worrying as the figure for 2002 was 59% and 39% respectively.
13.Views on democracy produced mixed results. In terms of six core principles of democratic values, 66% agree on court treating all as same, 75% agree on freedom to practice religion, 59% support honest multiparty democracy, 61% support criticizing the government, 43% approve media freedom, and worryingly 38% approve civil control over military.
14.In regard to choosing between a good democracy and strong economy, 82% agreed in favor of democracy while 17% supported strong economy.
15.In choosing between democracy and a strong leader, 79% opted for democracy while only 20% favored strong leader.

Globally, all results reveal an evolving world view on globalization where people are concerned about inequality, threats to their culture, threats to the environment and threats posed by immigration. Together, these results reveal an evolving world view on globalization that is nuanced, ambivalent, and sometimes inherently contradictory.

There are some results on the use of media, media consumption, new sources, computer and internet and those interested on these results can access this 144-page report on

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