BOB Consulting – Measuring the ‘soft power’ of cultural activity
Measuring the ‘soft power’ of cultural activity
In recent years a number of commentators have argued that the ‘soft power’ of a nation’s culture is as important as its military strength in assessing that country’s place in the world. Measuring such soft power is far from easy, though.
One body which has tried to do so is the Berlin-based Institute for Cultural Diplomacy. Its Cultural Diplomacy Outlook Report 2011 is a wide-ranging study looking at many aspects of what it calls cultural diplomacy, in the public, private and third sectors.
One of the most interesting parts is its Index: The cultural diplomacy index charts the increasing prevalence of soft power and public diplomacy as a means of international dialogue. The index evaluates various government activities to determine whether their respective cultural diplomacy programmes are substantial, constructive and effective.
The index produced by the ICD ranked forty countries by these means, and found that Germany and the Netherlands came joint first, with Norway in third. The UK was fifth, the US was seventh, and India was the leading emerging economy, in tenth place.