Arts, Culture and Soft Power: Developing an Evidence Base

Arts, Culture and Soft Power: Developing an Evidence Base: Commissioned by the British Council, this work examined the use of arts and culture in the achievement of soft power objectives. The research team sought to build on the evidence generated during the recent AHRC Cultural Value Project, other international examples and the British Council’s own bank of arts-based evaluation alongside other relevant research to address the following a trio of research questions. We looked at whether the arts contribute to the aims, aspirations and delivery of soft power, the mechanisms though which this was achieved and what “value” can be ascribed to the arts contribution to this agenda. The research also examined what conditions for change the arts can create within a soft power agenda and, how we can develop a creditable evidence base or evidence framework and “theory of change” to measure the impact of the arts in the delivery of soft power outcomes.