Measuring citizen attitudes toward globalization
To date, most public opinion surveys on globalization have placed little emphasis on studying globalization as a multidimensional phenomenon. The dominant approach used in most public opinion surveys on globalization is to focus primarily on its economic aspects, particularly as change in international trade flows. However, many academics recognize that globalization has political and cultural dimensions, which raises the question: can citizen attitudes toward globalization be explained merely by studying its economic dimension? This study proposes that including definitions relating to globalization’s cultural and political aspects produces richer opinion poll data that, along with economic definitions, allows for more valid interpretation of public attitudes towards globalization. This proposition was tested in a national, SSHRC-funded public opinion survey conducted in January of 2007 among 1,505 Canadians. This study probes both the different dimensions of globalization and people’s different conceptualizations of globalization. Drawing upon recent work by Kenichi Ohmae, Philip Cerny and others, the respondent pool was divided in half and then competing paired definitions of cultural and political globalization were tested. The results suggest that citizens possess significantly different attitudes toward the political, cultural and economic aspects of globalization, and so operationalizing the concept in terms of its economic effects alone is insufficient for most survey and public policy purposes.
Public Policy, Citizen Attitudes, Public Opinion Polls, Public Opinion Surveys, Globalization
Master of Arts (M.A.)