News and Events
Angela Hawken Conducts Landmark Opinion Survey Revealing Public Dissatisfaction in Syria
Angela Hawken, associate professor of economics and policy analysis at the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy, recently concluded the historic "Syria 2010 Public Opinion Survey," commissioned by the Democracy Council, which details the results from a survey of 1,046 Syrians taken over a three-week period.
"This survey is the first scientific polling of Syrian attitudes," says James Prince, president of the Democracy Council.
As the lead author of the study, Hawken notes four key findings from the 41-page report:
- A majority of Syrians believe that the political and economic situation in Syria is poor, and worse than it was five years ago.
- A majority has little faith in the Assad government’s ability to confront the country’s problems.
- A substantial majority believes that corruption is widespread.
- A substantial majority believes that the State of Emergency in Syria should be lifted.
A subgroup analysis found interesting differences across age and gender. "Women were significantly more optimistic while Syrians over 40 were significantly more pessimistic and more critical of their government’s performance. 51.9% reported that their circumstances encourage them to emigrate from Syria," says Hawken.
Other findings confirmed widespread opinion, such as that Syria has experienced a telecommunications revolution with majorities citing access to satellite television and the Internet. A positive finding reflects what Hawken describes as, "The vibrancy and diversity of Syrian performing arts with a substantial majority of respondents citing favorite Syrian artists and programs."
Prince cites the need for additional open public opinion surveys in Syria and suggests that the government change its policy restricting such activities. "There is a public good in giving a voice to the Syrian public," he says.
Hawken's study co-authors were Jonathan Kulick, Jeremy Grunert, Sabrina Abu-Hamdeh, and Lindsay Kimbro.
The Democracy Council is a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to promoting rule of law, respect for human rights, and equal opportunity in emerging communities around the globe. For more information, visit the Democracy Council's website.
For more information, contact Angela Hawken at (310) 506-7608