annual poll of nations' popularity - with 62% of those surveyed ranking its influence as positive for the world. The UK was the next most-loved country, rising to second place in its highest ever placing in the annual poll.
But while Germany and the UK sit at the cool kids' table in the world lunchroom, over in the losers corner sit Iran, North Korea, Pakistan and Israel, all ranked as the most unpopular countries. The United States was ranked seventh in popularity out of the 16 countries respondents had to choose from, polling behind Canada, France, Japan and Brazil.
So what makes Germany so popular? The country's pacifist foreign policy over the past half century probably has a lot to do with it. The more military conflicts a country has been engaged in over the past fifty years the more likely they were to rank low in popularity – which would explain America's rather dismal showing. But of course the UK managed to rank second even though they've been involved in a number of military conflicts (most notably the Iraq War), so passivity can't be the only explanation.
For the UK, it's rise to the number two spot may be due to the prominent role the country has taken in dealing with the world financial crisis. From Gordon Brown's immediate leadership at the G20 in the wake of the bank crisis to David Cameron's leadership of the pan-European movement for austerity,the UK has been on the front lines of the problem - for better or worse.