Terpsichore Posted April 9, 2014 Share Posted April 9, 2014 The concept of "soft power" was formulated by Joseph Nye, sometime Dean of the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University. In "Soft Power, The Means to Success in World Politics" 2004 Public Affairs, New York Nye defined "soft power" as the ability to achieve a foreign policy objective by attraction and co-option in contrast to hard power such as the use of military force or financial inducement. In other words the ability of a government in one state to influence the governments of others by such factors as culture, education and values. One example of soft power is that a person in State B who has received at least part of his education in State A is likely to incline almost instinctively towards State A in any controversy between that State and almost any other. According to Monocle this country is rather good at exerting soft power being ranked second in the 2013 Soft Power Survey and first in 2012 but I have to say that I am also rather dubious. Given that Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world by the number of native speakers I find it hard to believe that there is no Hispanic country in Monocle's top 10. Although they never called it by that name "soft power" was a concept well understood by the leaders of the former Soviet Union and their allies. The invested heavily in the arts and sport and did so for a reason. They calculated that at least a section of the public would regard a country that could top the medal table of the Olympics and host the Kirov and the Bolshoi would be regarded by at least a section of world public opinion as not all bad and overlook its totalitarianism and the abysmal living standards of its people. Of course the Soviets were not the only country to do that. It can be argued that we did the sane through public subsidies of Covent Garden. Was that a good or a bad thing? You tell me. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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