A Disgruntled Public on the Eve of the G20 Seoul Summit
As leaders of the G20 gather in Seoul, Korea, for the November summit meeting, it has become increasingly clear that their citizens are disillusioned with governments' efforts to cope with the economic downturn. According to surveys conducted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States and PEW, people in nearly all G20 nations are dissatisfied with the direction of their country, disgruntled about the state of their nation's economy, and divided about the economic future. However, contrary to widespread fears that the global recession would undermine public support for free markets and globalization, backing for trade remains strong among most G20 publics. Among G20 leaders who might provide direction for the world economy, President Obama is by far the most popular around the world and the United States is expected to provide global leadership at the summit. Furthermore, survey data clearly indicates that a majority of publics want the G20 leaders to focus their efforts on fixing the global economy, while concurrently finding ways of implementing financial regulation to avoid another economic downturn.