Programs & Projects
The Public Opinion and Foreign Policy Program
To inform the public debate on Australia’s foreign policy, the Lowy Institute has sought the views of the Australian public on foreign policy since 2005. The Public Opinion and Foreign Policy Program also conducts polls in important neighbouring countries, and more recently, has started to survey diaspora communities in Australia.
The annual Lowy Institute Poll is one of the Lowy Institute’s flagship publications. It is the leading tracking survey on Australian foreign policy, providing a reliable vehicle for understanding Australian attitudes towards a wide range of foreign policy issues, while being independent and methodologically rigorous.
Over the course of the past decade, the Poll has uncovered significant shifts in public sentiment, including towards our most important neighbours and partners. It has tracked attitudes on important international issues ranging from climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic, to Australia’s relationships with China and the United States.
One of the best ways to explore the data from our eighteen years of polling is through our interactive site. Copies of the previous Lowy Institute polls are available here.
The Lowy Institute continues to conduct influential polls in several of our most important neighbours in the Asia-Pacific, including Indonesia (2006, 2011 and 2021), India (2013), New Zealand (2007 and 2012), China (2009) and Fiji (2011).
Through the Multiculturalism, Identity and Influence Project, the Lowy Institute has also conducted surveys of Chinese-Australian communities in 2020 and 2021. The ground-breaking Being Chinese in Australia study asks Chinese-Australians about their views on a wide range of issues — from foreign influence and relationships with China, to systems of government and pride in Australian life and culture.
The annual Lowy Institute Poll is entirely funded by the Lowy Institute to ensure its ongoing independence, and its questionnaire and results are thoroughly reviewed by independent consultants. The full dataset is available on the Lowy Institute Poll website, and datasets are also deposited with the Australian Social Science Data Archive where they are available free of charge for public scrutiny.