Countries possessing more global admiration have far more soft power influence in the world.
Constructing a quantitative index that accurately reflects a nation's soft power is not without its challenges. By its nature, soft power is a relative and intangible concept that is inherently difficult to quantify.
To understand the key drivers behind soft power better and how countries accumulate it over time, the variables that define soft power are organized into three major categories: global image, global integrity and global integration.
Global image is a measure of a country’s global popularity and admiration, especially that of its culture. Countries possessing more global admiration have far more soft power influence in the world.
Variables that reflect a country’s global image include its export of media goods, the popularity of its language, the number of Olympic medals it has earned, the number of its citizens who are global icons and the number of its companies that are globally admired.
Global integrity measures how much a country adheres to an ethical or moral code. The world respects countries that protect their citizens, uphold political and social freedoms, empower their people and treat their neighbors with respect.
Countries that lack integrity are not respected by the rest of the world and find it difficult to accumulate soft power.
Global integration gauges how interconnected a country is with the rest of the world. The number of people who come to visit, study or live in a country and how well a country is able to communicate with the world are the key components behind a country’s connectivity with the rest of the world and its subsequent ability to wield influence.
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