Drawing on her experience as secretary of state for defence and secretary of state for international development, Penny Mordaunt discusses how soft power can protect, promote and project Britain’s international interests and foreign policy agenda.
Often defined as the capacity to influence others without coercion or force, soft power differs from traditional military capabilities in favour of more subtle forms of influence rooted in values, culture and civic institutions.
Consistently upholding democratic values and human rights can contribute to a nation’s soft power as much as its cultural icons and legacies. However, utilising soft power – the power of attractiveness – is not straightforward: the government is only part of a broad mix of institutions and actors with a role to play.
Can the UK develop a long term approach that brings together all of the components of its soft power for a common purpose?
What are the key sources of Britain’s soft power? How has Brexit affected perceptions of Britain internationally? And with the UK’s departure from the European Union now confirmed, how should we think about its soft power in the future?
Penny Mordaunt MP, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth North; Secretary of State for Defence (2019); Secretary of State for International Development (2017-2019)
Chair: Thomas Raines, Director, Europe Programme, Chatham House