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People around the world have grown far more cynical about the idea their governments have their best interests at heart, according to polling from Pew.

By the numbers: When Pew last asked this question in 2002, majorities in nearly all countries polled believed their government was run to benefit all people. Amid the current populist wave, there is far more doubt.

Expand chart
Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

Zoom in: Italy saw the most remarkable decline in people's belief that the country was run for all, falling from 88% in 2002 to 30% in 2019. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Italy's mainstream parties have rapidly lost support to populists.

  • Germany, which is also undergoing extreme political fragmentation, also saw a massive drop (86% to 48%).
  • Lebanon, which has been gripped by protests over corruption and poor government services, saw a plunge from 78% to 26%.
  • The U.S. and U.K. saw similar drops, both from around 65% to around 45%. Canada's drop was much smaller (59% to 56%) while France started low but ticked up slightly (40% to 44%).

Bucking the trend were the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as well as Japan (albeit from a low starting point).

Go deeper

UNC race conscious admissions process upheld by judge

Students walk through the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Aug. 18, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can continue its race conscious admissions process, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

Why it matters: The case could end up in the Supreme Court after the conservative nonprofit Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) vowed to appeal the judge's ruling that UNC didn't discriminate against against white and Asian American applicants in its policy that it said was designed to increase diversity.

SEC debunks conspiracy theories about meme stock mania

Photo: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The SEC issued its long-awaited report on the meme stock mania, which downplayed the narrative that a "short squeeze" was the primary driver behind GameStop's historic stock moves — and shot down conspiracy theories about the event.

Why it matters: The postmortem was highly anticipated, largely because of what it could hint about what the regulator thinks should be done in wake of the saga. But the report stopped short of specific policy recommendations.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Breaking Biden's diplomatic logjam

Expand chart
Data: Center for Presidential Transition via Congress.gov; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The logjam for reviewing and confirming President Biden's ambassadorial picks is finally starting to break.

Why it matters: Biden is far behind his predecessors in the rate at which his ambassadorial picks have been confirmed. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a series of high-profile hearings and votes this week to finally begin chipping away at the backlog.