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British Council

The UK Soft Power Group

The UK Soft Power Group (UKSPG) is the premier group representing non-governmental UK-based soft power assets. A membership-based organisation, the group seeks to provide a conduit for the members to speak to, and with, government and parliament figures, as well as to the UK’s diplomatic corps.

The British Council is a co-convener of the UKSPG with the British Foreign Policy Group (BFPG). In our capacity as the UK’s cultural relations organisation, the British Council provides leadership for the UKSPG, and seeks to utilise its role as the UK’s cultural relations organisation to promote cooperation between the members.

Soft Power Framework to Meet Growing Geopolitical Challenges

The UK Soft Power Group has published a (UKSPG) major new report, The Future of UK Soft Power: Building a Strategic Framework. This report calls for greater cooperation between the UK government and the UK’s soft power assets.

Merging efforts of 25 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.

 The report recommends the following:

  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. 

British Council’s Head of Soft Power Research and Insight and co-convenor of the UKSPG, Mona Lotten has said of the report:

“The UK Soft Power Group has analysed the UK soft power landscape and offers practical ways of working together across sectors and the whole of the UK to look after our assets and enhance the mechanisms for “doing” soft power. We have a shared interest in ensuring that the UK’s soft power supports the nation’s long-term international goals. Protecting and enhancing the valuable international capabilities, activities, and networks of a diverse range of actors outside the direct control of HM Government will be central to success.”

June 2023