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Ten Years After September 11

Ten Years After September 11

An Analysis of Public Opinion in the Muslim World

Working Paper

Spring 2011

Authors: Katherine Didow, Jinnyn Jacob, Former Belfer Center International and Global Affairs (BIGA) Student Fellow, 2010-2011

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Dubai Initiative



In January 2011, protests started in Tunisia and Egypt, sparking a string of uprisings in the Muslim world, with consequences yet unknown. The Lebanese government collapsed, bringing the Hezbollah-led March 8th coalition to power and to east in Pakistan the popular Governor of Punjab province was assassinated. These monumental shifts caught many politicians, academics, journalists and pollsters by surprise. As world leaders scramble to formulate policy to confront these new realities, there is an urgent need for accurate and relevant public opinion data on the Muslim world.

In the ten years since the eleventh of September, issues regarding the Muslim world have taken a prominent position in the media, academia, policy circles and living rooms across the US. In spite of this, the region and its issues remain enigmatic and complicated to many in the US. Often, information alone does not get at the core of what is going on in the region, unless it is understood in the proper context. Lacking this deep understanding, it is difficult to craft policy that is appropriate, relevant and grounded in the realities of these countries.

Our client is a global public opinion survey organization. Through its survey data, reporting and analysis, it has the ability to both capture world public opinion and influence global perceptions. Our work is specifically timed to inform one particular survey, as well as its long-term work. Although our client is interested in new information on the Muslim world, its primary region of interest for this report was the Muslim Middle East. This priority is reflected in the report.

This report provides recommendations on how our client can increase the accuracy and relevancy of its survey work through question formulation and reporting and analysis. It focuses on our client’s key regional issues of democratization, Islamism and terrorism and on countries of Egypt, Lebanon and Pakistan. It also recommends an expanded framework of analysis for interpretation of results


For more information about this publication please contact the The Dubai Initiative at 617-496-3694.

For Academic Citation:

Didow, Katherine; Jacob, Jinnyn. "Ten Years After September 11." Student Research, Spring 2011.

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