UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Jessica Gosling


Jessica Gosling

Jess has spent the better part of a decade abroad in deployments with the United Nations, NGOs, civil society, startups in East Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans, the Caucasus as well as Central and South America. She is based within the UK Civil Service focusing on international affairs, and regularly leads sessions at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on the nexus between international policy making and design thinking.

She studied a BA (Hons) in Korean and History of Art/Archaeology (2012) and an MSc in Conflict, Rights and Justice (2015) both from SOAS, University of London.

Principal Supervisor - Dr Eric Gordy, Subsidiary Supervisor - Dr Aglaya Snetkov

Email: jessica.gosling.20@ucl.ac.uk

Present Status: MPhil candidate

Working title of thesis: The perception of nation-branding: how far is soft power effective in cultural reciprocity?


Globally governments around the world are now pursuing soft power as a central objective of their foreign policy, yet there remain problems with how to measure it. My research focuses on developing translatable measures of how the UK is perceived in the international sphere and measuring the effectiveness of the UK’s soft power.

This project seeks to offer a critical assessment of the soft power metrics that are currently in use, to provide alternatives. At the same time, my project will focus on the UK Seasons of Culture as a way of determining if the soft power strategy/activity is successful. The project will focus on three UK Seasons of Culture in the past five years as a baseline metric, including Mexico (2015), South Korea (2017) and Georgia (2019).

Soft power will be examined under three lenses with a sense of place, with in-depth engagement with local communities, the third sector and government agencies. The project falls under three disciplines: international relations, public policy and humanities.

Teaching Affiliation: International Policy Faculty, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; Digital Skills, General Assembly; Entrepreneurship, British Council.

Research Interests: soft power, nation-branding, public policy, cultural diplomacy, innovation, international policy, entrepreneurship, technology, digital diplomacy


Research Papers

2021- 'Maximising Soft Power: the Role of Digital Diplomacy in Building Trust with Nation-branding', Global Affairs Review, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2021. doi: 10.51330/gar.0020212 ISSN: 2660-696 (link)

2021 - 'Looking beyond nation branding: the prism of hegemony and Orientalism'. Places in the Sun: Post-Colonial dialogues in Europe and beyond. The Institute for a Greater Europe. ISBN 978-3-947214-09-9 (eBook and Printed) (link)

2021 - 'An obtuse triangle: the nexus between digital skills, soft power and climate change mitigation in Georgia’. British Council. 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference. (link)

Monthly Op-ed/Column

2020 – The Innovation Edit. Startups Magazine (link)


2021 - ‘Transsectoral DigitalLab: (Dis-)Assembling the (Post-)Digital Social’. Viadrinicum, University of Frankfurt.

2021 - The Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC) 7th Annual Conference, Taking Stock of Change: South Caucasus After a Turbulent Year. Presentation on: 'Propelled Towards Prosperity: the Case of the Creative Economy in Georgia'. Together with Elene Toidze, Creative Georgia and Ani Vashakmadze, Business and Technology University.

2021 - The University of Nottingham, The 8th Annual Nottingham Postgraduate Conference in Politics and IR, Picturing Politics: Images of the Political. Presentation on: 'Is perception enough? The nexus between soft power, nation-branding and public diplomacy'.

2020 - United Nation's Internet Governance Forum, The Stanislaw Lem Institute. Presentation on: 'Digital future for everyone. How to effectively fight digital exclusion?'.

2020 - Future Leaders Network Annual Conference. Presentation on: 'Young and Impact: the power of reciprocity in the digital age'.

2015 - Regional Cooperation in South-East Europe working together towards EU accession, Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

2013 - German Institute of Global and Area (GIGA), The Challenges of Security and Justice in Postwar Societies: Comparing Institutions for Sustainable Peace, SOAS, University of London.

2012- Securing Asia 2012, QEII, Westminster.

Newsletter - Jess is the curator of LinkedIn's popular newsletter focusing on working in an interdisciplinary way, with a core focus on education, inspiration and community.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessgosling/