UK slips to lowest ever ranking in MONOCLE’s annual Soft Power Survey - but the arts keep it afloat

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The Brexit referendum and the political garble that ensued have pushed the UK to its lowest ever ranking in an annual survey of how nations use their gentler side to have an impact in the world. Now in its seventh year, MONOCLE’s annual Soft Power Survey is an authoritative, influential assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of national brands and the changing cultural landscape.

“It’s not just the decision to leave the EU that has dented the UK’s image,” MONOCLE says, “but the political garble that ensued and the nadir of a general election that was almost as reckless as the Brexit referendum.” The damage this has done to how the UK is seen is permanent, and “the image of Brits as a safe pair of hands is gone”. 

However, the UK continues to score big on other metrics: tourism figures continue to be strong and a thriving arts scene still keeps the UK afloat. The BBC continues to speak to the world, with new services including Amharic and Pidgin.

Please contact FMcM to receive a full advance copy of the 2017 Soft Power Survey.

At this uncertain moment in world affairs, national brands can be deal-breakers like never before. In the face of Brexit and Donald Trump, businesses and organisations are asking where to locate their headquarters next, and open borders, a diverse workforce, and powerful cultural institutions are the kind of factors they are looking at.
— Andrew Tuck, MONOCLE's Editor


MONOCLE collects data covering key soft power metrics, from the overseas aid budget of a nation to the number of think tanks it hosts, from international students to the amount of tourists it attracts each year. The editorial team draws on an extensive network of editors and correspondents based around the world to compile the survey, and also looks at how writers, artists and musicians can show the best of a nation.

The 2017 Soft Power Survey is published in the December/January issue of MONOCLE, which is on sale from today, 16 November 2017.


Top 25

1 Canada
2 Germany
3 France
4 Japan
5 UK
6 Switzerland
8 Sweden
9 Australia
10 Italy
11 Denmark
12 Portugal
13 New Zealand
14 Spain
15 Norway
16 Netherlands
17 South Korea
18 Finland
19 China
20 Belgium
21 Austria
22 Singapore
23 Ireland
24 India
25 Brazil

MONOCLE's annual Travel Top 50 also appears in the December/January issue, view the press release here.


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For all media enquires please contact Daniel Kramb, Ashton Bainbridge and Stephanie Speight at FMcM Associates on +44 207 405 7422 or email / /