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Halifax International Security Forum and Ipsos Release 2018 Global Threat Index
November 17, 2018


Halifax, Nova Scotia – Halifax International Security Forum and Ipsos released this year’s Threat Index, a survey of citizens from 27 countries to gauge their perceptions of global affairs.

“Political pundits and commentators make much these days of the apparent disconnect between the so-called elites and the wider public,” said Peter Van Praagh, President of Halifax International Security Forum. “Our Global Threat Index provides a unique snapshot of what people really think about war, peace, natural disasters and other fears that affect their sense of well-being.”

Among the more interesting findings in this year’s poll:

  • Over a half of respondents globally believe that the current world order could collapse into violence within their lifetimes. Americans are very pessimistic about World War III at 68%, while Russians and the Chinese are not as concerned at 58% and 54% respectively;
  • Fears about the threat of terrorism have surged in the last five years. However, the proportion of the population who consider a terrorist attack in their country to be very likely fell from 31% in 2017 to 24% this year;
  • Worries about personal safety continue to be high in countries with emerging markets such as South Africa, Turkey, India, Mexico and Brazil;
  • Men are more likely than women to think that war can be justified (42% versus 32%). Interestingly, younger people are also more hawkish too. 39% of those under the age of 35 agree that war can be just compared to only 33% of those aged 50 to 64; and,
  • Despite increased criticism, global institutions such as the United Nations and the European Union are still viewed as important and relevant.

“Our data shows that while some fears have increased, especially in the United States, it’s not all bad news,” said Darrell Bricker, Global CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs. “While people agree that the world is becoming more dangerous, they continue to have faith in their government’s ability to act constructively to prevent negative outcomes and to deal with all matters of disaster.”

This weekend marks Halifax International Security Forum’s 10th anniversary. Over the past decade, this unique gathering has helped leaders from over 90 democratic countries identify future trends and then work together to deal with the challenges that arise from them.

Halifax International Security Forum is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Washington, DC. The Forum is made possible by the generous support of its partners, including the Government of Canada and the Halifax Canada Club.

These are selected findings from an Ipsos Global Advisor poll conducted online between October 26-November 9, 2018, with 19,312 adults in 27 countries (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America).


For more information, please contact:

Darrell Bricker, Global CEO, Ipsos Public Affairs – (416) 509-8460

Robin MacLachlan, Communications Manager, Halifax International Security Forum – (613) 294-6128