Director, Chatham House

This is written evidence submitted to the Committee  on Soft Power and the UK’s Influence, House of Lords, in October 2013.

Soft power is a core aspect of Britain’s international influence and is built upon more traditional sources of power.

In the last five years, the UK has under-performed economically, which has undercut its international standing and, to a certain degree, its capacity for international influence, in terms of hard and soft power.

In order to enhance its international influence through soft power, the government must concentrate on three priorities;

1. Ensure that the UK sets its economy on a path to sustainable and productive growth.

2. Leverage the UK's national and diplomatic strengths more proactively and challenge the status quo more frequently.

3. Continue to invest in or create the necessary supportive environment for institutions which enhance British soft power– its universities, the BBC and other UK-based media organisations, the British Council, and the rich mixture of British non-governmental organisations.