At least 75 percent of Nigerians and two-thirds of respondents in the US and France fear violence due to political unrest in 2024, findings from one of the largest-ever studies of global public opinion on human rights and democracy across 30 countries, published by the Open Society Foundations, revealed.
The report, “The Open Society Barometer: Can Democracy Deliver?” finds that the concept of democracy remains widely popular across every region of the globe, with 86% saying that they would prefer to live in a democratic state. There is also widespread disbelief that authoritarian states can deliver more effectively than democracies on priorities both nationally and in global forums.
Topping the list of such priorities, people worry most about poverty and inequality (20%), climate change (20%), and corruption (18%). Potentially indicating a lack of faith that governments are addressing such needs, around a third of respondents on average distrust politicians to work in their best interests.
The poll was carried out between May and July of 2023 by the pollster Savanta, as well as Gradus Research in Ukraine, using a mix of online panels and local vendors in 30 countries. The results paint a picture of the attitudes, concerns, and hopes of people in states with a collective population of over 5.5 billion—making it one of the largest studies of global public opinion on human rights and democracy ever conducted.
Following Open Society’s first such poll conducted last year, participants were asked questions about democracy and human rights, major issues facing their countries and the world, and international governance.
Commenting on the findings of the survey, L. Muthoni Wanyeki, executive director, Open Society-Africa said; “The findings reinforce the resounding calls for inclusion and greater input from African countries in addressing the global challenges that most deeply affect people today.
“Most notably, the recently reported decision by the Group of 20 (G20) to admit the African Union marks a significant milestone towards opening up global decision-making and supporting the people across the African continent who are on the front lines of crises from climate change to debt and inequality”.