Public Opinion in Armenia on America, Darfur, Genocide and Climate Change

Asked, if they trust the U.S. to act responsibly in the world, 27% of Armenians said “not at all” and 31% “not very much.” This puts Armenia squarely in the middle of responding countries. Argentina is the most distrustful (69% “not at all” and 15% “not very much” and Israel (56% “a great deal” and 25% “somwhat”) the most trustful.

Genocide and Darfur

Questions related to Genocide would seem particularly interesting to ask in Armenia, given the hotly debated use of the term in the Armenian context. So how do Armenians respond? When asked if the UN has the responsibility to intervene against the will of a government where the genocide is taking place, 66% of Armenians thought that the UN had that responsibility–though a large percentage (19%) said they were not sure or declined to answer.

However, the survey indicates that Armenian interest in the politics of genocide may not transfer to other contexts– or perhaps there is no media coverage. When asked if the UN had the right to intervene in Darfur, 46% of Armenians said they were not sure or declined to answer (similarly high rates occurred in Ukraine, Poland, Thailand and Argentina). Of those who answered, the largest percentage (29%) did think that the UN had the responsibility to authorize intervention.

Climate Change and the Global Environment

According to the survey, Armenians respond similarly to Russians. When given a series of statements ranking the importance of global warming, 19% of Armenian and 22% of Russians chose the statement that took global warming the least seriously, saying that “Until we are sure that global warming is really a problem, we should not take any steps that would have economic costs.” Only India had a higher percentage that chose this response — 24% — though the U.S. did not do much better at 17%. The margin of error is different in each country, so maybe the U.S. is worse than Armenia but not nearly as conscious as Thailand, where only 7% chose the response.