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Sweden world's fifth most 'powerful' country

20 Nov 2012, 13:02

Published: 20 Nov 2012 13:02 GMT+01:00

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Sweden finished after Great Britain, the US, Germany and France in the ranking, which was published last week in Monocle magazine’s Global Soft Power survey, which praised Sweden as a "friendly and functional" country.

The ranking was welcome news to Annika Rembe, head of The Swedish Institute, a government-funded agency charged with promoting Sweden abroad and, according to Rembe, "building interest and confidence in Sweden in the long-term".

"The results show once again that the question of how countries built interest and trust globally is of increasing importance," she told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

“Sweden has a high degree of trust internationally."

Soft power is a concept developed by Harvard academic Joseph Nye, who coined the term in 1990 to describe how countries can use persuasion to attract, rather than coercion or payment.

Monocle's ranking is based on measures of 50 factors including concrete terms such as success in the music, film and sports industries, as well as more abstract terms like architecture and food culture.

For the first time, the US was ousted from the top spot by the UK – after the Brits enjoyed a stellar year in sports with Andy Murray, an Olympic medal haul of 65, and James Bond and Adele all tagged as key contributors.

Meanwhile, the US remained introspective with the elections holding most people’s attention.

The report mentioned that Sweden’s growing base of entrepreneurs leaves the country in good stead abroad, but mentions that the country is struggling to shake the old stereotypes of Abba and Ikea.

The rest of the top ten was made up of Japan, Denmark, Switzerland, Australia and Canada.

Story continues below…

Sweden’s Norwegian neighbours, meanwhile, finished in 12th place.

TT/The Local/og

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Your comments about this article

12:07 November 20, 2012 by byke
This is old news and was reported about a few days ago.

And this has nothing to do with achievements, but more so national branding.
17:17 November 20, 2012 by martin8558
Where did you get your facts, The US won more Medals has more shops then Ikea and UK Shops let's not forget we won the most medals in the Olympic medals and

Andy Murray, we have the Williams sister and for Adele do I t really need to state home Talent, we have I can pull from a lot of sources if needed were your sources.
18:41 November 20, 2012 by skatty
Sweden's career as a great power came to an end in 1718 with the death of King Charles XII!

What is Monocle magazine anyway, I haven't heard about it.
00:57 November 21, 2012 by dermutt
martin, the USA came about 20th in the Olympic medal table per head of population, you are far more likely to bump into a gold medalist on the streets of Western Europe, and in the USA today it sometimes seems that just about everything that's most lauded in the cultural sphere originates from Britain, as for shops, London has the highest retail figures of any city in the world.
16:13 November 21, 2012 by smilingjack

if there was a medal for being obese, poorly educated, religiously extreme ( the last 2 go hand in hand ) the usa would win hands down.

as for food, sport and culture I think carl lewis ( self confessed drug cheat ) having a tanty over ben johnson whooping his arse and 3 female sprinters that are all drug cheats including one that dropped dead in her 30's sum up the usa. could add lance armstrong too. chuck in kim kardashian ( a prostitute ), starbucks and mcdonalds and you have a good idea of the usa. no thanks.

Might as well include talentless hacks like elvis that never wrote a single lyric or piece of music in his life and died ( surprise surprise) an obese redneck junkie. very usa. see adele who on 19 contributed the lyrics to one song and no music. yeah how talented. the "world series" - only in the usa.

you should get out more.
22:31 November 21, 2012 by Dijondel
Wow, for once I agree with smilingjack. You omitted untravelled and materialistic, not to mention litigious.

And martin8558, if you are at all representative of the USA, with your sheer lack of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and plain lack of ability to articulate, it is a wonder that the USA made it into the list at all.
00:00 November 23, 2012 by Eric1
The America haters are out in force commenting on this board. Sweden, such a peaceful people unless you disagree with them and they insult your country, people, religion (unless it's Islam). Very tolerant, as long as they have their way, or off with your head.
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