America’s global standing has become a central concern of U.S. leaders and citizens. U.S. leaders, regardless of party, pledge to “restore U.S. standing” as a central goal of America’s foreign policy agenda. Standing has been the subject of widespread public discussion and intellectual debate.

Yet despite all this attention, three issues fundamental to standing have been relatively ignored:

-What is standing and how has it varied?
-What causes standing to rise and fall?
-What impact does standing have on U.S. foreign policy?

This task force answers these questions by synthesizing what we now know about U.S. standing and/or identifying what we need to know to understand better a topic of clear national and international importance.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2009 American Political Science Association (APSA). This report first appeared in APSA Task Force Reports (2009).

Please note that downloads of the report are for private/personal use only.