Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, was Chairman of the National Intelligence Council and Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration. He is the author of several books, including The Paradox of American Power: Why the World's Only Superpower Can't Go It Alone and Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power. PublicAffairs will publish his political thriller, The Power Game, in Fall 2004.
Soft Power: The Means To Success In World Politicsby Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
What must the United States do to remain the global superpower—and stop alienating the rest of the world? The author of The Paradox of American Power has one clear answer: soft power.
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Hachette Digital, Inc.
- NOOK Book
- Sales rank:
- File size:
- 518 KB
Meet the Author
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
Nye makes a good case for beefing up American spending to influence world opinion through American culture.
For over a decade and a half, Nye has self-promoted by coining 'soft power' as if this is a novelty, when any one reading Antonio Gramsci's writings in 1920s or 1930s can see Gramsci was a far more complex, superior thinker who, unlike Nye, does not instrumentalize culture, movies, etc., as a functionaly utility for political power. Worse, Nye has changed his mind about the meanings, components, and uses of soft power that by now it is impossible to see what is and what isn't soft power, i.e., an excercise in futility. Kaveh Afrasiabi
Nye's 'soft power' in a nutshell: smart parents know that getting their child to 'want what they want' is more efficient than wielding sticks or withdrawing weekly allowances. A more 'critical' approach to soft power, often used on the left as Nye notes, could be healthier for us in moderate doses. It gets us to examine the biases, interests, and ethnocentrism conditioning our worldview. How our interests are not always the world's. How only self-serving arrogance could suggest otherwise. Does the US ('born to lead') always want the best for 'her chidren'? Who awarded it special access to that font of wisdom? Parents sometimes want the kids in bed early less out of concern for their welfare, but because an adult movie is about to start. Look elsewhere than Nye if you're searching out a way to negotiate a pluralistic world, one in which none of us has 'the answer'. At the moment we presume ourselves capable of parenting others, we seem most prone to childish vanity.