The U.S. Has Overtaken the U.K. and Germany in Soft Power Ranking

According to the "Soft Power 30" report European countries have lost some of their global clout this year

June 15th, 2016

President Obama’s work over the last eight years to reposition the U.S. as a more diplomatic and less belligerent country seems to be paying some dividends. The Soft Power report is an annual ranking of countries based on their ability to achieve objectives through attraction and persuasion instead of coercion. This year the U.S. overtook the U.K. and Germany, while Canada, thanks to its brand new popular Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, jumped France to claim fourth place.

Based on a theory of global political power developed by Joseph Nye, a Harvard professor of political science, the survey compiles both polling and digital data to rank countries under the three pillars of soft power: political values, culture, and foreign policy.

Europe’s decline on the index can be explained by recent events which have heavily influenced European society this year. On the British side, the threat of leaving the EU and the handling of the refugee crisis may be responsible for its fall from the top spot in the global ‘soft power’ index. Germany, which in 2013 was ranked as the world’s leading "soft power" edging Britain and the USA off top spot for its cultural and sporting prowess, economic might and diplomacy, this year seems to have lost some of its global clout. In any case, Germany remains widely admired as a driving force in European affairs, with strong ratings for its engineering prowess and for Berlin, its culturally buzzing capital.

As according to the survey, half of the European countries in the top 30 slipped down from last year, including France, Austria and Belgium. There is strong evidence that the continent’s economic and refugee crises are harming the Europe’s overall global appeal.

The biggest surprise in the report was the entry of Russia into the top 30 at 27th place. The survey claims that, despite President Vladimir Putin’s hard power strategy, the relative quietness in Ukraine may have helped Russia’s standing.


Cultural Diplomacy News
Jessica Sama, CD News