19th July 2017

USC Center on Public Diplomacy/Portland issue Soft Power 30 Index 2017: Czech Republic up 2 places, outperforms Hungary, Brazil

As Professor Joseph Nye, who first coined the phrase "soft power" 27 years ago said, "power with others can be more effective than power over others". But while there is a growing enthusiasm for soft power in global capitals, it has not always been matched by the understanding and capability required to deploy it successfully, the Soft Power 30 Index 2017 report published by the University of Southern California's Center on Public Diplomacy and Portland says.

The Soft Power 30 index, a comparative assessment of global soft power, combines objective data and international polling. It can take many generations to build soft power. So it is no surprise that the results of the 2017 Soft Power 30 index are broadly in line with those seen in 2015 and 2016. But while the same countries fill the top five spots, their positions in the rankings have changed. Our findings show that European soft power is recovering. North America’s capability is on the decline, while Asia is on the rise. The Pew Research Center’s recent study on global perceptions of America reported similar findings. Asia’s soft power continues its steady upward march from our 2015 benchmark. This is particularly evident in the case of China, as it takes on larger global leadership role, just as the US has entered a period of retreat from the world.

The Czech Republic ranks 27th in the 2017 ranking, up two places year-on-year, behind Poland, China and Russian Federation (the latter two are new entries in the list) and ahead of Hungary and Brazil.

The top performers were France, United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Canada and Japan.

Read details.

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic