World Public Opinion: Azerbaijan in Focus

World Public Opinion is the initiative of the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) of the University of Maryland that explores public opinion on a variety of topics in 25 countries across the globe, including Azerbaijan, the only South Caucasus country represented in the survey. Russia and Ukraine are the other two former USSR countries that the project includes.

The International Center for Social Research, a local research organization, is PIPA’s partner in Azerbaijan. The Center’s recent and current research projects include, among others, CIVICUS – Civil Society Index Report for Azerbaijan, World Values Survey and a survey on gender based violence for UNFPA.

Based on a poll conducted in January-February 2008 among 602 respondents in Azerbaijan, and at different times in 2008 in other countries, World Public Opinion periodically releases the survey results on various issues.

For instance, it was found out that large majorities in 16 nations around the world are in favor of equal rights for women. In Azerbaijan, 85% of respondents believe that equality of rights is important and over three quarters think that government should protect women from discrimination.

Global opinion on governance and democracy was released in May 2008. Among all surveyed countries, Azerbaijan has one of the largest majorities of people who believe that the will of people should be the basis of authority of government, with 76% thinking that it should have greater weight than it currently has.

A more recent publication tells us what people in six predominantly Muslim countries think about globalization. Surveyed Azerbaijanis view international trade as mostly good for their economy, companies and consumers. 63% see globalization as mostly positive.

The project also publishes questionnaires and short information on methodology. The survey methodology is not entirely uniform since it is administered by different organizations in all countries. Still, it provides another good source of data on a number of topics. To explore global public attitude to torture, treatment of widows and divorced women, global leadership, oil and other energy sources, racial and ethnic equality and a host of other exciting issues visit the website of World Public Opinion.