From beer to Beethoven via Bayern Munich: Germany beats Britain – again
Our EU competitor now has more cultural clout than us, says Emily Dugan. Meanwhile Matthew Bell sets a quiz to find out how Teut-on-it you are (answers below)
Emily Dugan is Social Affairs Editor for The Independent, i and Independent on Sunday. She was previously a news reporter for The Independent on Sunday. Her investigations into human trafficking have twice been awarded Best Investigative Article at the Anti-Slavery Day Media Awards and her human rights journalism was shortlisted for the Gaby Rado Memorial prize at the 2012 Amnesty Media Awards. Her first book, 'Finding Home: Real Stories of Migrant Britain', was published by Icon Books in July 2015.
Sunday 17 November 2013
From beer to Beethoven via Bayern Munich, Germany has once again beaten Britain to a top spot – albeit without a penalty kick in sight. A survey of nations' ability to use their cultural, sporting and design exports to improve their international image – so-called "soft power" – will declare this week that the Germans lead the world.
Monocle magazine's annual table of global soft power put Britain at the top last year, thanks to the Olympics and the afterglow of the royal wedding. But now the global leadership of Angela Merkel, re-elected for a third term, has helped to improve Germany's image, according to the magazine, which is published on Thursday.
The Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in May also cemented the country's international dominance. Tyler Brûlé, Monocle's editor-in-chief, said: "For Britain, a little bit of the halo effect of the Olympics has slipped off now. One thing that stood out compared to last year with the UK's No 1 ranking was seeing two German football teams playing it out for the Champions League on a British stage."
Germany's dominance in design and well-known consumer brands also helped them into first place. Brûlé said: "We've always talked about the importance of making things. Germany still makes things and they are able to get products and brands into people's hands and people are very aware of their point of origin."
The United States, which had pole position in 2011 and came second last year, has now slipped into third place. Jonathan McClory, a consultant at the Institute for Government which helped to compile the international list, said the past year had been a "disaster" for US soft power.
"The federal sequester continues to chip away at the US's ability to project power – both hard and soft," he said. "Abroad, the administration's policies in the Middle East have managed to anger every player in the region. But the biggest blow of the year has come from the Edward Snowden affair."
Coined by a Harvard academic in 1990, "soft power" describes how countries use attraction and persuasion, rather than coercion or payment, to change behaviour. This is the fourth year that the survey has been carried out in conjunction with the Institute of Government.
Quiz: How well do you know Germany?
1. What, in Germany, is 'schlager'?
A: a shot of lager; B: a make of hockey stick; C: a strand of pop music; D: a word for cool
2. How many three-Michelin-starred restaurants do these countries have?
A. Germany; B. Britain; C. Japan; D. US
4, 10, 12, 32
3. Order these countries according to the number of universities they have in the world top 200:
A. Germany; B. Britain; C. US; D. Italy
0, 10, 31, 77
4. Berlin's contribution to world cuisine is the currywurst. Berliners consume about 70 million a year. It was invented by German housewife Herta Heuwer in 1949, who swapped bottles of beer with soldiers for what key ingredient?
A: American ketchup; B: English curry powder; C: French bread; D: Danish butter
5. Match these countries to the number of football players they have playing in the world's best leagues:
A: Germany; B: France; C: Britain; D: Italy
2, 19, 24, 71
6. A recent study claimed to discover why the German industry outperforms ours. Which of these claims did they not make?
A: The average German starts work 30 minutes earlier than we do; B: The average German snoozes for five minutes less than we do; C: Germans drink less wine; D: Bagging sun loungers has made them more competitive
2. A-10; B-4; C-32; D-12
3. C-77; B-31; A-10; D-0
5. A-24; B-71; C-2; D- 19
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 5 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Bangkok Bomb: Thai police name Adem Karadag as suspect arrested over blast that killed 20
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...