The BBC quotes "Stephen Walt, a professor of international affairs at Harvard University" saying that:

"In much of the Global South we're seen as deeply hypocritical, actively opposing Russian occupation in Ukraine, for all the right reasons, and doing very little about Israeli occupation [of the Palestinians] over a 50-, 60-year period."

Are there some cross-country polls in the "global South" (I know there's not that many of those international polls, but e.g. Pew sometimes conducts such) specifically asking about this perceived hypocrisy of the US?

(N.B. I rather expect the answer would be positive in Muslim countries. I'd be interested in a poll that's not exclusively done in those.)

  • 3
    Of course, this exposes some of the limitations of this kind of broad and unintuitive terminology. Will the results really be the same in, say, Nigeria (74% positive opinion of the USA in the 2023 Pew poll) as Malaysia (57% negative opinion toward the USA in a 2022 Pew poll)? Very likely not, but they both get lumped into the Global South and implicitly treated as homogeneous in Walt's statement. For that matter, Hungary and Poland are both majority-Christian nations in Europe ("Global North"?), but one is net negative and the other extremely positive toward the USA.
    – Obie 2.0
    Oct 27, 2023 at 17:57
  • 1
    And yes, note that Nigeria and Malaysia are indeed both in the Northern Hemisphere.
    – Obie 2.0
    Oct 27, 2023 at 18:04
  • 2
    @Obie2.0 So? Global polls typically get published with a country by country breakdown. Whoever posts on of those as an answer, readers won't have that much difficulty parsing this big Global South terminology issue you seem to consider problematic. Not an answer, but buttresses the timeliness of asking such a question ‘Double standards’ undermine EU legitimacy in Global South: Human Rights Watch chief | Euronews for exactly similar reasons. Oct 27, 2023 at 18:05
  • 1
    @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica - The question itself is not bad, and the phenomenon is real. The problem is lumping a hundred-odd countries with vastly different cultures and public perceptions of other countries together, let alone with a euphemistic pseudo-geographical term that obscures the actual factors of interest in any given question. For instance, a lot of the time, the most relevant factor is wealth, but sometimes it's race, or physical distance from certain countries, or indeed actual geography.
    – Obie 2.0
    Oct 27, 2023 at 18:07
  • 1
    @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica - Well, all of that terminology is very limited, and I don't think "developing versus developed" or "Third World versus Second versus First" is really all that great in its own right. But looking for an "alternate term" is missing the point: the factors that influence opinion of Israeli-Palestinian conflict are not really the same as those that influence, say, economic growth or opinion of, say, the Russia-Ukraine conflict or of the IMF (nor are they wholly separate, though), and that remains true no matter which word one chooses.
    – Obie 2.0
    Oct 27, 2023 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


I would not expect you'll find a question in existing polls that perfectly encapsulates the concept of hypocrisy but a pretty good proxy that Pew has looked at internationally is whether the US is seen as a "reliable partner". Unfortunately, the study I've linked to only includes 17 countries and (Muslim-majority) Malaysia is the only middle- or low-income country outside of Europe. In Malaysia, only 43% of respondents said the United States is at least a somewhat reliable partner. I'll come back and edit my answer if I can find more relevant data points.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .