France edges out US as top soft power; India not on list

Wednesday 26th July 2017 06:45 EDT

PARIS: New rankings reveal that France has overthrown the United States as the world's premier soft power. Authors of the Soft Power 30, published by PR Firm Portland Communications, the election of Donald Trump as US President, followed by the victory of Emmanuel Macron in France, has resulted in the European country rising to the top, and pushing US all the way to number three.

“Macron has now been handed the mandate to help lead France through a period of pro-business and pro-EU reforms,” the report said. UK stands at number three, Germany at four, followed by Canada, Japan, and Switzerland, in that order. China stands at 25, while India is not included in the list. The report blames the Trump administration's rhetoric and the Brexit referendum as the main two forces to affect both the countries' reputation.

Author Jonathan McClory said, “This year's annual rankings of global soft power reflect the major global geopolitical shifts currently underway. At the top of the table, we can see the waning dominance of Anglo-American soft power as Brexit starts to bite and America First results in America alone. At the same time, a more confident and unified Europe looks more attractive to the rest of the world.”

“With France, this year's winner boosted by a new pro-globalisation president, it seems the power of persuasion sits with the globalists, rather than the nationalists,” he said. McClory said, the US' polling results fell 10 per cent and it was ranked 21 for global affairs. “The rise of Trump could be viewed as a threat to American soft power, because his kind of populist rhetoric is known for devaluing international alliances,” the report said. Regarding the UK, it said the country maintained its second spot even though polling results show its influence has fallen across the world.

“Had the US not fallen to an even greater extent than the UK in the international polling, Britain would have likely fallen in the rankings. That Britain's overall score is lower than it was in 2016 should serve as a warning of what is likely to come for post-Brexit British influence... It is hard to imagine the direction of travel for British soft power and wider public opinion of the UK will be upwards in the future.”

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