The worrying trend most Australians can agree on

The vast majority of Australians say the world is becoming more hazardous and their confidence that America will play a constructive role in global affairs has plummeted since Donald Trump became president.

New polling shows 89 per cent of Australians agree the world has become more dangerous during the past year, 8 per cent more than last year. The survey also revealed just 37 per cent of Australians now believe the United States has an "overall positive" influence on world affairs, a huge 23 percentage points lower than in 2016.

Ipsos Australia research director, Laura Demasi, attributed this slump to the behaviour of Mr Trump since he became the US president in January.

"On a global scale, people are clearly nervous about Trump's unpredictably and are worried about what his 'America first' agenda really means for the rest of the world," she said.

The Ipsos Global @dvisor survey questioned more than 18,000 respondents from 25 countries, including Australia, and found more than eight in 10 respondents agreed the world had become more dangerous over the past year. The poll followed a spate of terrorist attacks although it was conducted before the Manchester concert bombing and this month's assault on London Bridge and Borough Market.

The share of Australians agreeing the world had become more dangerous during the past year was 3 percentage points above the international average and higher than in some nations that had recently experienced major terrorism incidents, including Britain and France.

In Britain 86 per cent agreed the world had become dangerous over the past year, 3 percentage points lower than in Australia.

In France the share of people believing the world had become more dangerous was 81 per cent, 6 percentage points lower than last year. That's despite a spate of deadly terrorist attacks in France including the atrocity in Nice in July 2016 when a truck was driven into a large crowd and killed 86 people and injured more than 400 others.

Ms Demasi said the results showed Australians did not feel insulated from terrorism.

"I don't think borders matter when it comes to terrorism; it's became a distinctly global fear," she said.

"So when Australians see things happening overseas, there's a sense of when it will happen here, not if."

The survey points to a dramatic slump in the reputation of the United States.

Internationally, only 40 per cent thought the US had a positive influence in world affairs, down 24 percentage points compared with last year.

Canada topped the list of countries that had a positive influence on world affairs (81 per cent), followed by Australia (79 per cent) and Germany (67 per cent).

"Canada, Australia and Germany are seen as the 'neutral' countries that still have some positive influence on the world, in a time characterised by the rise of nationalistic populism where so many other countries are turning inward," Ms Demasi said.

France and Russia experienced a decline in their reputations, down 12 per cent and 11 per cent respectively.

The share of respondents who considered the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to play a positive role in world affairs also dropped.

Brazil had the highest share of citizens who believed the world had become more dangerous over the past year (95 per cent) while China had the lowest share among the 25 nations surveyed (70 per cent).

The story The worrying trend most Australians can agree on first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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