After slipping In 2016, Switzerland gained ground in Simon Anholt’s 2017 good country index, which measures how much positive impact countries have beyond their own borders.
Anholt is an independent policy advisor, mainly to governments, who started the index three years ago. He describes nations that do good abroad as “good countries”, pointing out that “good” doesn’t mean morally good. Instead it means generosity towards the planet and humanity abroad. Less good (not to be confused with worse) countries are more self-centred, show less empathy for citizens of other nations, and can be described as more culturally psychopathic.
To measure national “goodness”, he came up with The Good Country Index.
This year Switzerland jumped from 5th to 2nd place, coming just behind first-placed Netherlands.
So why the jump?
In most areas Switzerland held steady but it shot up from 31st to 4th on its global cultural contribution, driven by a big turnaround in cultural service exports. This includes creative outputs that possess a high degree of expressive value and invoke copyright protection. Architecture, cultural and recreational services, audio-visual services, advertising, and research and development related services are the core elements of creative services.
In addition, it climbed 17 places from 61st to 44th on international peace and security, a measure which includes: peacekeeping troops, UN peace keeping dues, international violent conflict, arms exports and internet security. Switzerland’s weakness on this measure is its arms exports, something that didn’t change. The upswing appears to relate to paying UN peacekeeping contributions more promptly.
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