Soft Power: The Means To Success In World Politics

Soft Power: The Means To Success In World Politics

by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
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Overview

Soft Power: The Means To Success In World Politics by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.


Joseph Nye coined the term "soft power" in the late 1980s. It is now used frequently—and often incorrectly—by political leaders, editorial writers, and academics around the world. So what is soft power? Soft power lies in the ability to attract and persuade. Whereas hard power—the ability to coerce—grows out of a country's military or economic might, soft power arises from the attractiveness of a country's culture, political ideals, and policies.

Hard power remains crucial in a world of states trying to guard their independence and of non-state groups willing to turn to violence. It forms the core of the Bush administration's new national security strategy. But according to Nye, the neo-conservatives who advise the president are making a major miscalculation: They focus too heavily on using America's military power to force other nations to do our will, and they pay too little heed to our soft power. It is soft power that will help prevent terrorists from recruiting supporters from among the moderate majority. And it is soft power that will help us deal with critical global issues that require multilateral cooperation among states. That is why it is so essential that America better understands and applies our soft power. This book is our guide.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781586482251
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 03/15/2004
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.52(h) x 0.87(d)

About the Author


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.

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Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nye makes a good case for beefing up American spending to influence world opinion through American culture.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.