a global ranking of soft power - portland communications 2020-01-04آ author jonathan mcclory...
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A Global Ranking of Soft Power
The Hard Currency of Soft Power
Networks > States
Digital / Digitale / Numérique
Soft Power’s Growing Importance
Methodology of the Index
Changes and Limitations
Results and Analysis
The Top Five
Asia on the Rise?
Promotion and Relegation
Views from Around the World
Does Asia have Soft Power?
The Perspective from the Arab World
A Campaign Approach to Projecting Soft Power
I Say Poder Blando, You Say Soft Power
Conclusions and Look Ahead
Trends and Lessons
The Conversion Challenge
Soft Power, Communications, and Influence
Towards a More Digital Diplomacy
A #DigitalDiplomacy Typology
The 21st Century Foreign Ministry
Technology and Platforms
Appendix A – Metrics
Appendix B – References
Jonathan is a Partner at Portland, where he leads the company’s place branding
practice. He is a specialist in soft power, place branding, and cultural relations.
Jonathan has advised senior government clients in the UK, Europe, Asia, and
the Middle East on strategy, policy, and global engagement. Jonathan has led a
number of place branding projects including the creation and launch of an over-
arching nation brand and global advertising campaign for Thailand, commissioned
by the Prime Minister. Jonathan previously worked as a consultant in the London
office of the Boston Consulting Group. Before working in the private sector, he
was a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Government, where he remains an
Associate. While at the IfG, Jonathan developed the world’s first composite index
for measuring the soft power of countries.
With special thanks to contributors whose efforts in research, editing, guidance, and design were instrumental to the completion of this report
| Katie Harbath | David Bradshaw | Olivia Harvey | Elizabeth Linder | Natalia Zuluaga |
Alan Merlehan | Katie Mihailovits | Alligator Research
For more information please contact email@example.com
Ambassador Tommy Koh
Dr James Pamment
Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan
DIGITAL DIPLOMACY CASE STUDIES
Scott Nolan Smith
THE SOFT POWER 30 REPORT 6
Portland is a strategic communications
consultancy working with governments,
businesses, foundations, and non-
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their stories and communicate them
effectively to global audiences.
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a i n m
ail on our interactive m icrosite
upward mover downward mover no mover
THE SOFT POWER 30 REPORT
A CHANGING GLOBAL CONTEXT
The question all countries face today is how best to achieve their foreign policy goals in an
increasingly complex and interdependent world. Challenges and opportunities now rarely sit
within national borders. Power has never been more diffuse, moving not just from West to
East but also from governments to non-state actors. The digital revolution is accelerating this
diffusion of power, enabling citizens to come together within and beyond countries in a way that
was never possible before.
In this new world, countries are realising that an over-reliance on military might and economic
clout – traditional hard power – can no longer bring about their desired outcomes. It is the
ability to encourage collaboration and forge networks – to attract and persuade, rather than to
compel – which works best. As Professor Joseph Nye, who first coined the phrase "soft power"
26 years ago said, "power with others can be more effective than power over others".
But while there is a growing enthusiasm for soft power in global capitals, it has not always been
matched by the understanding and capability required to deploy it successfully. Getting this
right must start with a clear and accurate measurement of a nation’s soft power resources.
This is the aim of the Soft Power 30 index – the world’s most comprehensive comparative
assessment of global soft power. It combines objective data and international polling to build
what Professor Nye has described as "the clearest picture of global soft power to date."
It can take many generations to build soft power. So it is no surprise that the results of the
2016 Soft Power 30 index are broadly similar to its first iteration last year. But while the same
countries fill the top five spots and, in all but one case, have improved their overall scores, their
positions in the rankings have changed. Our findings show that soft power capability is rising
faster in North America and Asia than in Europe.
The US has replaced the UK at the top. Germany has fallen from second to third and France –
the only country at the top whose score showed a reduction – has dropped from fourth to fifth.
Canada, with a new energetic Prime Minister at the helm, has taken its place.
A look further down the table confirms that European soft power seems to be on the wane. Half
of the continent’s countries have fallen in the rankings. Europe’s continued economic problems,
the refugee crisis, and the way it has fuelled instability and support for political parties outside
the mainstream appear to be having an impact. In contrast, Asian soft power is on the rise with
China, Japan, and Singapore all in higher positions than last year.
The Soft Power 30
THE SOFT POWER 30 FRAMEWORK
The Soft Power 30 combines over 75 metrics across six sub-indices of objective data and seven
categories of new international polling data. The composition of the framework and calculation of
the index is illustrated in the figure below.
Included in the framework are metrics, provided by Facebook’s data-science team, on the reach of
a country’s digital diplomacy. Using data from the Facebook pages of national leaders and foreign
ministries, both followers and levels of engagement are assessed.
Importantly, Facebook’s data-science team is able to geographically disaggregate data for these
metrics, allowing us to separate domestic and international interactions. As a result, our metrics
focus exclusively on international engagement. This allows us to capture the impact social media has
on soft power.
Working with polling firm Alligator Research, we also made use of newly commissioned polling in
25 different nations to gauge the appeal of countries’ soft power assets. Our polling surveys publics
in every region of the globe. We asked respondents to rate countries based on seven different
categories including culture, cuisine, and foreign policy, among others.
SOFT POWER GOES DIGITAL
The report gives a detailed overview of this year's Soft Power 30 results, placing them in the context
of the past year's major international events. New to this year’s publication, it also features essays on
soft power from contributors based around the world. Finally, the report provides an overview of the
current state of digital diplomacy and likely trends. It positions digital diplomacy within the theory
and practice of soft power, using a set of case studies to illustrate the growing importance of digital
tools in generating and leveraging soft power.
Objective Data Government
9 | 120
"The ability to engage with and attract global audiences has never been so critical to prosperity, security, and international influence"
“Real power means y