The Indian Strategic Studies Forum (ISSF), a defense and geopolitical think tank, published its World Soft Power Index for the year 2022 on the occasion of the country’s 75th independence day. The ISSF performed a rigorous evaluation across 10 distinct criteria on a 200-point scale. The index also counted in the opinion of 1200+ readers who shared their thoughts on the rankings.
What is soft power?
The term ‘soft power’ was presented by Joseph S Nye Jr. during the 1980s. From that point forward different nations have embraced and executed the core idea of becoming a soft power, which assists them with helping their presence in the world. The term was popularized in 1990 when the book ‘Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power’ came to light.
Wikipedia defines soft power as the ability to co-opt rather than coerce (contrast hard power). In other words, soft power involves shaping the preferences of others through appeal and attraction. A defining feature of soft power is that it is non-coercive; the currency of soft power includes culture, political values, and foreign policies.
Soft Power Index 2022: Rankings
Charted below are the countries with the maximum soft power in the World Soft Power Index 2022 published by the ISSF. The most powerful country in terms of soft power is the United States as ranked in this index. Take a look below.
The most powerful countries: key findings
- The United States claimed the top spot with 164/200.
- India has been ranked 11th with a score of 82 out of 200.
- India found no place in the top 10 countries with most economic aid disbursed, tourism or strength of passport criterias. It was ranked 7th in the influence in multilateral institutions, 3rd in entertainment & media penetration and 10th in brand recognition.
- China was penalized with -3 points in the ‘Economic Aid Disbursed’ category due to its debt trap diplomacy and aggressive loan terms to developing countries, the report said.
- Denmark, with 56 points, was a surprise entrant to the overall top 15s.
- Canada was the winner in the ‘Linguistic compatibility with the rest of the world’ category.
- France was the absolute winner in the ‘Tourism’ category.
- Japan was ranked as the country with the most powerful passport.
- Switzerland was the winner in the ‘Political Stability’ & ‘Economic Stability’ categories. Followed by Denmark and Norway.
- The US was an undisputed winner in multiple categories including ‘Familiarity with cultural symbols’, ‘Brand recognition’, ‘Entertainment’, ‘Influence’ and ‘Economic Aid Disbursed’.
The complete report can be downloaded from ISSF’s official website here.