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Friend or Foe? Pakistan’s Negative Perception of the U.S. JD McCabe SIS 600-005, Assen Assenov American University School of International Service. Research Question.

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friend or foe pakistan s negative perception of the u s

Friend or Foe? Pakistan’s Negative Perception of the U.S.

JD McCabe

SIS 600-005, AssenAssenov

American University

School of International Service

research question
Research Question
  • What demographic attributes are associated with an unfavorable view of the United States?

Research Hypothesis

  • Ha: Controlling for education, religion, gender, and age, Low income isassociated with a more unfavorable view of the United States.
literature review
Literature Review
  • Both studies were selected because they examine negative attitudes towards the US and use data from the Pew Global Attitudes Project
  • Losing Muslim Hearts and Minds: Religiosity, Elite Competition, and Anti-Americanism in the Islamic World, by Lisa Blaydes and Drew A. Linzer (2009)
    • Interviewed 13,000 individuals from 21 countries with large Muslim populations.
    • Finding: Increased secular-religious tensions within Muslim countries leads to a less favorable view of the US.
    • However, little contribution towards policy recommendation.
  • Correlates of Public Support for Terrorism in the Muslim World, by Ethan Bueno de Mesquita(2007)
    • Finding: Anti-American view is weakly correlated with public support for terrorism weak correlation, reveals problems with the dependent
      • Respondents are addressing a variety of concerns that are lumped into “support for terrorism.”
      • The question on “support for terrorism” conflates a variety of issues: defense of Islam from its enemies, suicide violence and other forms of violence, attacks on civilians, etc.”
  • Level of Analysis: Country  Pakistan
  • Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project: Common Concerns About Islamic Extremism, Muslim-Western Tensions Persist
    • Sample size = 2000 respondents
  • Reliability: 15% of the population missed due to security reasons in the rural tribal areas. Weighted the data to reflect the actual distributions in the country  Not ideal, but satisfactory.
  • Dependent variable
    • Opinion of the United States
    • Ordinal: (1)very Favorable, (2)somewhat favorable, (3)somewhat unfavorable, (4) very unfavorable
    • Nominal: (0) Favorable or (1)Unfavorable
  • Independent Variables
    • Income: Ordinal, (1,000 of RS) < 4, 4 – 7, 7– 10, 10 – 15, 15 – 20, 20 – 25, 25 – 30, > 30
    • Education: Ordinal
    • Religion: Nominal (1898 Muslim, 97 non-Muslim)
    • Gender: Nominal (999 women, 1001 men)
    • Age: I-R (18 - 99) (Mean = 35.3, Median = 32, Mode = 30)
descriptive statistics
Descriptive Statistics
  • Because the sample is representative of the Pakistani population, we may extrapolate our statistical analysis to the greater population.
  • 80% of Pakistanis have an unfavorable view of the US. As one of our main allies in MENA, this problem warrants investigation.
  • Furthermore, 95% of the population is Muslim, which may be an important demographic indication of an unfavorable view of the US.
descriptive statistics continued
Descriptive Statistics continued
  • Dependent: opinion of US
    • Ordinal: mean = 3.39, median = 4, mode = 4
    • Nominal: mean = .79, median = 1, mode = 1
  • Independents
    • Income, mean = 3.45, median = 3, mode = 2
    • Religion, mean = .95, median = 1, mode = 1
    • Education, mean = 3.49, median = 4 (school yrs 5 – 9), mode = 1 ( no formal education)
  • The dependent is uni-modal and reveals that a significant portion of Pakistanis dislike the US  79.7%
  • Similarly, the majority of the population is Muslim  95.1%
  • These modal measures of central tendency are fairly reliable due to their strength.
  • 10% of the data is missing for the dependent compared to .25 for Muslim
    • This could indicated a response bias in the study, but is the best data currently available.
bivariate analysis categorical lom dependent variable
Bivariate analysis - Categorical LOM dependent variable.
  • Due to the ambiguity of the bivariate analysis, further testing needs to be done in order to better determine the relationship
    • Note, chi2is more sensitive to differences in the large samples
  • DEPENDENT: Q7A. Please tell me if you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable opinion of the United States?
probit regression marginal effects
Probit Regression Marginal Effects
  • Interpretations:
  • In the fifth and final model all coefficients are statistically significant.
  • All coefficients in Model 5 are positive
  • Gender – when changing from female to male the probability of an unfavorable attitude towards the US increases by 5.7%
  • Income – as income increases, the likelihood of disliking the US increases by .04 %  contrary to prediction
  • Religion – when changing from a non-Muslim to a Muslim the likelihood of disliking the US increases by 28.36% !!!
  • R2: In model 5, 2.6% of the variation in the dependent can be explained by its relationship to the independent variables.

Bivariate Dependent: attitudes towards the US

(1 = Unfavorable, 0 = favorable) predicted = .80

(*) Indicates significance at the .01 alpha level

(**) Indicates significance at the .05 alpha level

findings policy implications of the research
Findings & Policy Implications of the Research
  • Findings: Ultimately, I was unable to reject my null hypotheses. In fact, it could be argued that the opposite was proven
  • Increased income is associated with an increased likelihood of disliking the United States. Education has no discernible affect
    • However, Muslims have a greater probability of having an unfavorable view of the US than non-Muslims
  • My findings imply that the Pakistani’s unfavorable view of the US is not a socio-economic problem  in fact potentially the opposite
    • Unfavorable views are associated with Muslim males at higher income levels.
      • The income effect is low, but significant never-the-less
    • Implies that more research must be conducted specifically on this demographic in order to better understand the underlying issues
      • policies need to facilitate cohesion between Pakistani Muslims and the US.
        • Interfaith dialogue conferences and/or cultural exchange programs may be a starting point
        • Bombing Pakistani troops is ill-advised . . .