We are looking at how the government can employ soft power and other creative and collaborative strategies to ensure Britain retains a leadership role in international affairs.
Our work takes account of the changing nature of global power and the resource challenges facing Britain's diplomatic infrastructure.
The Institute's first work on foreign policy has been the publication of a composite index of soft power for 26 countries.
The index was done in partnership with Monocle magazine. It's aim was to establish a benchmark that assesses how Britain's soft power resources compare against those of the world's other major players.
Our report, The New Persuaders:
- identifies the trends that are making soft power strategies more relevant to Britain's foreign policy
- ranks the soft power of 26 countries through a composite index combining objective and subjective measures
- highlights the key soft power resources at the government’s disposal and suggests ways to use them effectively.
The IfG-Monocle Soft Power Index used a framework of five sub-indices and six subjective measures. The results of the index showed that Britain commands significant soft power resources compared to the world’s major players:
But our publication warns that trimming back Britain’s diplomatic infrastructure will precipitate a fall in the UK’s global influence:
- Soft Power is much easier to lose than it is to gain
- emerging powers are investing heavily in soft power and public diplomacy infrastructure
- the UK needs a clear narrative for Britain's global role and a more coordinated approach across Whitehall in leveraging soft power resources.
The framework of the index is drawn from existing literature on soft power and public diplomacy, and calculated following a standard data normalisation methodology used for composite indices.