Pioneering survey of popular political attitudes in the Pacific to be launched this week


A pioneering survey of popular political attitudes in the Pacific – the Pacific Attitudes Survey (PAS) Samoa – will be launched this week.

This is according to a press statement issued today.

The PAS gauges the views of ordinary Samoan citizens on a range of questions related to democracy, economics, governance, tradition, trust in institutions, climate change, social media, and international relations.

Conducted in Samoa from December 2020-January 2021 by the National University of Samoa (NUS), and drawing on a nationally representative sample of 1319 Samoans of voting age, the Pacific Attitudes Survey: Samoa report represents the culmination of a three-way partnership between the Australian National University, the National University of Samoa, and Swinburne University of Technology. The project was funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Pacific Research Program.

While large-scale popular political attitudes surveys have been conducted globally for several decades, the Pacific region has remained a notable exception, until now. Drawing upon core modules of the popular Global Barometer Survey (GBS) to allow for international comparability, the PAS also adds a host of new questions of specific relevance pertinent to Pacific contexts.

Findings from the PAS provide an important frame of reference for key issues in Pacific politics; including how ordinary citizens engage with and trust their political institutions, their broader understandings of democracy and tradition, and attitudes to key issues like climate change.

Professor Ioana Chan Mow: Partnership “The strength of the findings in the Pacific Attitudes Survey report underlines a genuinely collaborative and rewarding three-way partnership between ANU, SUT and NUS.”

Professor Michael Leach: Lack of data
“The Pacific Attitudes Survey: Samoa gives voice to ordinary Samoan citizens in comparative international debates where there has previously been a lack of popular attitudinal data. “

Associate Professor and Head of the Depart of Pacific Affairs Julien Barbara: Future of PAS
“The Pacific Attitudes Survey Samoa offers a glimpse into the future richness of data that a regional popular political attitudes survey can provide. We hope to expand the PAS to other countries in the region in the coming years”.