15 Jun The Future of UK Soft Power: Building a Strategic Framework
The UK Soft Power Group (UKSPG), a group of the UK’s leading soft power organisations, co-convened by the British Foreign Policy Group and the British Council, has released a major new report, The Future of UK Soft Power: Building a Strategic Framework.
The UK’s deep stock of soft power assets place the UK in an enviable position in the soft power sphere, as an attractive, trusted international actor. However, the new report maps an increasingly competitive international arena, where allies and strategic rivals alike are increasingly encroaching on our traditional lead in soft power. Nonetheless, there is palpable appetite within the UK’s soft power sector to align and collaborate better with the Government, in order to strengthen the health of the soft power ecosystem, and maximise the UK’s soft power utility in supporting the UK’s international objectives.
Merging the efforts of over 20 of the UK’s principal soft power assets, the report highlights substantial benefits the UK earns from its soft power and the importance of increasing collaboration between Government and soft power actors to enable the UK to achieve its international ambitions.
With effort to avoid encouraging the overt instrumentalisation of soft power actors by the Government, the report suggests practical mechanisms to foster closer collaboration between a diverse independent sector and the Government:
1. Establish a new Government-soft power engagement forum to aid connectivity and strategic thinking between Whitehall, devolved administrations and independent soft power actors.
2. Ensure that the Minister responsible for soft power is recognised as the cross-Government Soft Power Champion, supported by a team empowered to make targeted strategic interventions across Whitehall and beyond.
3. Introduce a light-touch Strategic Relationship Management System for soft power bodies to enhance connectivity across Whitehall.
4. Agree on planning horizons, resources and funding mechanisms, between Government and soft power actors to maximise their contribution to the UK’s international objectives.
5. Create light-touch mechanisms to increase connectivity between soft power actors and overseas Posts.
About the UKSPG
The UKSPG is co-convened by BFPG and the British Council, and is a network of UK soft power organisations, covering sectors from culture and sport, to accountancy and international development. Our members’ activities around the world contribute immensely to the international reputation and success of the UK, its nations and regions.
Contributing Members: Academy of Sport, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Ascot Racecourse, Association of British Orchestras, British Council, British Film Institute, British Foreign Policy Group, British Horseracing Authority, British Library, British Standards Institution, City of London, Coalition for Global Prosperity, Core Cities, Great British Racing International, HALO Trust, Ivors Academy, National Theatre Wales, Premier League, Science Museum Group, The Jockey Club, UK Sport, Universities UK and Wilton Park.