The United Kingdom has been ranked at the top in the 2018 'Soft Power 30' index, which was published last week by the UK-based strategic communications consultancy firm Portland and the University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy.
The index, which comprises a ranking list of 30 countries, does not feature India.
• While the United Kingdom was ranked first with a score of 80.55, France was placed at a close second with 80.14 points.
• The third-ranked nation was Germany with 78.87 points, followed by the United States at the fourth position with 77.80 points and then Japan at fifth with 76.22 points.
• Canada was ranked sixth with 75.70 points, while Switzerland and Sweden were ranked at the seventh and eighth position with 74.96 and 74.77 points respectively.
• The final two in the top ten included the Netherlands at the ninth position with 73.79 points and Australia at the tenth rank with 72.91 points.
• In the fourth edition of the annual Soft Power 30 Index, the United Kingdom narrowly beat France to regain the top spot in 2018, a position it last held in 2015.
• With this, while the United Kingdom returned to form, there was a further decline in the American soft power with the US falling from third to fourth place.
• Japan, on the other hand, became the only country to have moved up the rankings each consecutive year from 2015 to 2018.
• It is also the only Asian country to break into the top five as well as the top ten.
• While India does not figure on the list, this year's report featured a chapter dedicated solely to the rising soft power in Asia, which listed 10 countries in the region, among which India's soft power was ranked at the eighth position.
About Soft Power 30 Index
• The Soft Power 30 index is the world’s most comprehensive comparative assessment of global soft power.
• The index combines objective data and international polling to build the clearest picture of global soft power to date.
• The 2018 Soft Power 30 report aimed to focus on the importance of soft power in protecting, maintaining, and ultimately renewing the rules-based international order.
• Hence, this year’s report reflects much of the global political change that is currently unfolding including the further erosion of American soft power under the banner of “America First”, Europe consolidating its soft power gains from 2017 and the continued rise of Asian soft power.
• Soft power of a country means the power exercised without using the hard power such as force, money or military or arms strength.
• Soft power is the ability to shape the preferences of others through appeal and attraction.
• The term largely refers to the culture, foreign policies, political values and economy of a nation.
• Soft power is more than the ability to influence other actors in international relations, but rather, it is the “the ability to attract, and attraction leads to acquiescence.”
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