New research by a geopolitical think-tank makes the case that Britain is second only to the United States as a global power.

Researchers at the influential think tank European Geostrategy broke global powers down into four categories: Super Power, Global Power, Regional Power and Local Power and have ranked the UK as the second most powerful country on the planet.


Their findings based on several categories, including military capacity (hard power) and various factors such as economic, political, scientific and cultural influence (soft power) gave the United States the top slot as the world’s superpower, with the UK coming in second.

They ranked the United Kingdom as the world’s ‘global power’, which they define as:

‘A country … with a wide international footprint and [military] means to reach most geopolitical theatres, particularly the Middle East, South-East Asia, East Asia, Africa, and South America’.

The UK took the only Global Power slot bringing her in second behind America and leapfrogging China, Russia, India, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Turkey among others.

In terms of hard power, the survey found that the UK is a major military country with a global reach, both operationally and in intelligence terms.

The UK’s Armed Forces, which comprise the Royal Navy, a blue-water navy with a comprehensive and advanced fleet, the Royal Marines, a highly specialised amphibious light infantry force as well as the British Army, the UK’s principal land warfare force and the Royal Air Force which possesses a diverse operational fleet consisting of modern fixed-wing and rotary aircraft.

The UK is also a major participant in NATO and other coalition operations across the globe and is also party to the Five Power Defence Arrangements, including intelligence gathering and sharing with the US.

In terms of soft power, the UK still retains considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally, the study determined, being a recognised nuclear weapons state and having a defence budget that ranks fifth in the world.

These findings are echoed in a similar ranking system carried out by China, the ‘Comprehensive National Power’ survey, which found that the United States is the nation with the highest score in terms of national power (both hard and soft) and that China lags not only far behind the United States but also behind the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and Germany.

To read the HJS ‘Towards Global Britain’ report click here.

By news reporter Stephen Bailey.



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