Admittedly Monocle is a great magazine for design, style, and a few other things–but not a likely candidate to end up in a footnote for your IR essay on soft power. Bear with me then when their recently released survey shows the UK at number one.
For the first time, Britain has beaten the US to the top spot in an annual survey of global soft power. Coined by a Harvard academic in 1990, the term describes how countries use attraction and persuasion, rather than coercion or payment, to change behaviour.
Monocle magazine’s annual “Global Soft Power” survey, published tomorrow, ranks nations according to their standard of government; diplomatic infrastructure; cultural output; capacity for education; and appeal to business.
To be fair–in a more serious publication–the “Harvard academic” quoted above, who will be at BYU in winter semester 2013 made the case back in 2004 that America’s soft power decline was an issue.