Britain most powerful nation on earth, reveals survey
Britain has once again emerged as the most powerful nation on earth, when it comes to "soft power", according to a new survey.
Monocle magazine's annual "Global Soft Power" survey has revealed that Britain projects more positive influence around the world than any other nation, reports The Independent.
For the first time, Britain has beaten the US to the top spot in an annual survey of global soft power. The term, coined by a Harvard academic in 1990, describes how countries use attraction and persuasion, rather than coercion or payment, to change behaviour.
The survey ranks nations according to their standard of government; diplomatic infrastructure; cultural output; capacity for education; and appeal to business.
The top five spots went to Britain, the US, Germany, France and Sweden.
Tyler Brule, Monocle's editor-in-chief, said: "There's been a fantastic momentum in Britain this year. And at Monocle we're the biggest critics of this place, too. This is a good example of where you can't deny the Olympics were very important, from a global promoting point of view, this year. People even felt good about the Union Jack. There was something happening this side of the Atlantic that sucked the wind out of [America's] sails. The US has been very inward-looking with the election. America goes on to this more domestic footing - even more than usual - when there's an election."
Brile said the global reach of Britain's media, from the BBC World Service to international magazines such as The Economist, also played a role.
Xenia Dormandy, a senior fellow and US expert at Chatham House, added: "With the Olympics taking place here, which got far more fanfare internationally than domestically, and with America very focused on elections, I think the result is probably right. The UK has had a very international presence this year and it has been the best of the British. I think America vastly undervalues the importance of soft power. It has a tendency to focus on the tangible and the concrete."
The Olympics brought global attention to the UK, with Team GB winning 65 medals. Bradley Wiggins conquered the Tour de France and Andy Murray took his first Grand Slam title in New York.