Soft power

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Soft power is the ability to obtain what one wants through co-option and attraction. It can be contrasted with 'hard power', that is the use of coercion and payment. Soft power can be wielded not just by states, but by all actors in international politics, such as NGOs or international institutions.[1] The idea of attraction as a form of power dates back to ancient Chinese philosophers such as Laozi in the 7th century BC. Soft power is comparable to the second dimension (agenda setting) and the third dimensions (or the radical dimension) of power as expounded by Steven Lukes in «Power: A Radical View».[2]

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1 Origin 2 What makes soft power soft? 3 Role of educational and cultural institutions 4 Limitations to soft power 5 Measuring soft power 6 Academic debates around soft power 7 References 8 External links 9 Further reading

[edit] Origin
The phrase was coined by Joseph Nye of Harvard University in a 1990 book, Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power. He further developed the concept in his 2004 book, Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics. The term is now widely used in international affairs by analysts and statesmen. For example, in 2007, Chinese President Hu Jintao told the 17th Communist Party Congress that China needed to increase its soft power, and the US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke of the need to enhance American soft power by "a dramatic increase in spending on the civilian instruments of national security -- diplomacy, strategic communications, foreign assistance, civic action and economic reconstruction and development." In 2010 Annette Lu, former vice-president of Taiwan, visited South Korea and advocated Taiwan's use of soft power as a model for the resolution of international conflicts.[3]

A well run military can be a source of attraction. misuse of military resources can also undercut soft power. policies and institutions²and the extent to which these "primary currencies". [5] [edit] Limitations to soft power . Meaningful statements about power must always specify the context in which the resources may (or may not) be converted into behavior. That said. are clearly intended to coerce and are thus a form of hard power.[edit] What makes soft power soft? The primary currencies of soft power are an actor's values. Nye applied the concepts of hard and soft power to individual leadership in "The Powers to Lead". for example.´ Neither is it the case that all non-military actions are forms of soft power. Sometimes people or countries with more power resources are not able to get the outcomes they wish. Napoleon I's image as a Great General and military hero arguably attracted much of the foreign aristocracy to him. and that relationship will vary with different situations. as Nye calls them. culture. The impressive job of the American military in providing humanitarian relief after the Indian Ocean tsunami and the South Asian earthquake in 2005 helped restore the attractiveness of the United States. The Soviet Union had a great deal of soft power in the years after World War II. just as American military actions in the Middle East undercut their Soft Power. Of course. as this confuses the resources that may produce behavior with the behavior itself ± what Steven Lukes calls the ³vehicle fallacy.notably through the development of US institutions of higher learning abroad. such as economic sanctions. [edit] Role of educational and cultural institutions The foundation of educational and cultural institutions by American missionaries and educators played a critical part in the development of American soft power in the Edwardian era. In any discussion of power. it is important to distinguish behavior (affecting others to obtain the preferred outcomes) from the resources that may (or may not) produce those outcomes. Dictators like Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin cultivated myths of invincibility and inevitability to structure expectations and attract others to join them."[4] In 2008. military force can sometimes contribute to soft power. and military to military cooperation and training programs. can establish transnational networks that enhance a country¶s soft power. Power is a relationship between an agent and a subject of power. as certain non-military actions. Soft power is not merely non-traditional forces such as cultural and commercial goods. Some think-tanks such as the CEE Council have argued that early 20th century progressive US academics such as Reverend James Augustin Brown Scherer and Rabbi Judah Magnes were contrarian thinkers who foresaw the eventual decline of European colonialism in the Middle-East and Asia and the correlated rise of America. but they destroyed it by the way they used their hard power against Hungary and Czechoslovakia. are able to attract or repel other actors to "want what you want.

The extent of attraction can be measured by public opinion polls. a nation with a large amount of soft power . where being seen as friendly to another country is seen as a local political kiss of death. Soft power is contrasted with hard power. Soft power is not the possession of any one country or actor. soft power is generated only in part by what the government does through its policies and public diplomacy. since influence can also rest on the hard power of threats or payments. Nye argues that soft power is more than influence. Neorealist and other rationalist and neorationalist authors (with the exception of Stephen Walt) would generally disregard soft power since they assume for theoretical purposes that actors in international relations respond to only two types of incentives economic incentives and force. But having such resources does not always produce the desired outcomes as the United States discovered in the Vietnam War. and development. soft power will enhance the probability of other elites adopting policies that allow one to achieve preferred outcomes. But even in such instances. and that direct economic or military sanctions would likely follow from being 'against us'. The success of soft power heavily depends on the actor¶s reputation within the international community. which has historically been the predominant realist measure of national power.Soft power is not the solution to all problems. through quantitative metrics such as population size. As a concept. liberty. represents the third behavioral way of getting the outcomes you want. or a particular set of normative structures. However. by elite interviews. Thus. rationalist authors would merely see this as an 'implied threat'. since no explicit threat was included. concrete military assets. Those actors affect both the general public and governing elites in other countries. the interactions of civil societies and non-state actors may help to further general milieu goals such as democracy. In other cases. Janice Bially Mattern asserts that America's use of the phrase "you are either with us or against us" was an exercise in soft power. then. the decline or absence of soft power will prevent a government from obtaining particular goals. The generation of soft power is also affected in positive (and negative) ways by a host of non-state actors within and outside the country. Efforts to use soft power got nowhere in attracting the Taliban government away from its support for Al Qaeda in the 1990s. and attraction often leads to acquiescence. but other goals such as the promotion of democracy and human rights are better achieved by soft power. it is often hard to distinguish between the effects of soft power and other factors. [edit] Measuring soft power Soft power. It is also the ability to attract. as is the spread of a national language. as well as the flow of information between actors. soft power is often associated with the rise of globalization and neoliberal international relations theory. In international affairs. and create an enabling or disabling environment for government policies. and case studies. or a nation's gross domestic product. In some cases. though that is an important part of it. For example. And soft power is more than just persuasion or the ability to move people by argument. Soft power has been criticized as being ineffective by authors such as Niall Ferguson in the preface to Colossus. Popular culture and media is regularly identified as a source of soft power.

Mearsheimer vs Nye. (Janice BIally Mattern. Jacques Hymans. it does differ in terms of means. Like any form of power. the Russification of Israel & the Future of the Middle-East. ^ Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics pp31 5. Ken Waltz. Duvall & Barnet vs Nye. ^ Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics 2.and the good will that engenders it inspire others to acculturate. Josef Joffe. Alexander Vuving. ^ Power: A Radical View.opednews. Janice Bially Mattern. While soft power can be used with bad intentions and wreak horrible consequences. Robert Kagan. Stalin. These have included: y y y y Its usefulness (Niall Ferguson. Because soft power has appeared as an alternative to raw power politics. 2010 4. http://www. Steven Lukes 3. retrieved 2010-06-15 [edit] External links y y y y y y y Barack Obama & the use of soft power Global Power Barometer Is China¶s new communications worldview coming of age? David Bandurski The Benefits of Soft Power Simulation and Soft Power Soft Power definition Soft Power. avoiding the need for expensive hard power expenditures. ^ (English) Turkey's Ascendancy. Smart Power and Intelligent Power A lecture in honor of Joseph Nye [edit] Further reading . Katzenstein. but that did not make it good. Vuving) How the relationship between structure and agency work (Hymans vs Nye) Whether Soft Balancing is occurring (Wohlforth & Brooks vs Walt et al) [edit] References 1. Mao Zedong and Osama bin Laden possessed a great deal of soft power in the eyes of their acolytes. But soft power is a descriptive rather than a normative concept. Katzenstein. [edit] Academic debates around soft power Academics have engaged in several debates around soft power. Jan Mellisen) Whether soft power can be coercive/manipulative. survive despotism: Lu. it can be wielded for good or bad purposes. It is on this dimension that one might construct a normative preference for greater use of soft power. Taiwan News. February 18. ^ Soft power lets Taiwan overcome poverty. it is often embraced by ethically-minded scholars and policymakers.html.

such as movies.J. The Hague. No." Clingendael Diplomacy Papers. 2005 Chicago Council on Global Affairs. eds. Fan. Analysis is focused on the pop culture aspect of soft power. Clingendael Institute." The Economist. No 2. "Principles: The Coming of a Democratic Century?" from American Foreign Policy: The Dynamics of Choice in the 21st Century Jan Melissen.y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y Soft Power and US Foreign Policy: Theoretical. Nye. ISBN 978-90-5031-1175. January 19. 2010 Steven Lukes. John McCormick The European Superpower (Palgrave Macmillan.48.36 pp. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy." in Felix Berenskoetter and M. "Soft Power in East Asia" June 2008 Joseph Nye. 2007 Janice Bially Mattern. Clingendael Diplomacy Paper No.S. [hide]v · d · ePower in international relations Types of power Types of power status Geopolitics Economic power · Energy superpower · Food power · Hard power · National power · Political power (Machtpolitik ‡ Realpolitik) · Smart power · Soft power Middle power · Regional power · Great power · Superpower (Potential superpowers) · Hyperpower American Century · Asian Century · British Century · Chinese Century · Pacific Century . Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics Joshua Kurlantzick.3. Routledge. Williams. "Why Soft Power Is Not So Soft. Argues that the European Union has used soft power effectively to emerge as an alternative and as a competitor to the heavy reliance of the US on hard power. 37±61. Clingendael. 2007). "Power and the battle for hearts and minds: on the bluntness of soft power. Matthew Bruce Jentleson. "Into High Gear: China¶s Public Diplomacy¶. available at http://bura. "China's Soft Power. Power in World Politics. 2008 Ingrid d'Hooghe. Netherlands. 2006). ed Inderjeet Parmar and Michael Cox. pp. television. The Powers to Lead. Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. Routledge. Charm Offensive: How China's Soft Power is Transforming the World (Yale University Press. 4:2." in Berenskoetter and Williams Young Nam Cho and Jong Ho Jeong. Disneyland. (2008) "Soft power: the power of attraction or confusion´." Asia Survey." in Berenskoetter and Williams J. NY Oxford University Press. 3 (2008). and American fast-food brands including Coca-Cola and McDonald's. 2008 Nye. Weapons of Mass Distraction: Soft Power and American Empire (St.brunel. eds. Ingrid d'Hooghe. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy. "Wielding Soft Power. "The Rise of China¶s Public Diplomacy". Martin's 2005). Joseph. July 2007. 2006 Y. Analysis of China's use of soft power to gain influence in the world's political arena. 12. London.pp 453±72 Yashushi Watanabe and David McConnell. "Playing soft or hard cop. "Notes for a soft power research agenda. Soft Power Superpowers: Cultural and National Assets of Japan and the United States. pop music. M E Sharpe.

India's openness gives the country a big advantage compared with China. columnist John Lee writes By John Lee Asia y y y y y Nintendo Brings 3D to the Really Small Screen Toyota Seeks Dismissal of Lawsuit Wipro Execs Quit After Sales Miss Estimates Hu Flaunts China Power in Chicago Coke CEO Toasts China's Hu in Japanese Story Tools y y y y y y post a comment e-mail this story print this story order a reprint suggest a story digg this .Theory and history Balance of power · Historical powers · Philosophy of power · Polarity · Power projection · Power transition theory · Second Superpower · Sphere of influence · Superpower collapse · Superpower disengagement Composite Index of National Capability · Comprehensive National Power · National Power Index African Union · ANZUS · APEC · Arab League · ASEAN · BRIC · CIS · Commonwealth of Nations · CSTO · European Union · G4 nations · G7 · G8 · G8+5 · G20 · G77 · IBSA · MSG · N-11 · NATO · Non-Aligned Movement · OAS · OECD · SAARC · SCO · Union for the Mediterranean · Union of South American Nations · United Nations Studies Organizations and groups India's Edge Over China: Soft Power In the struggle to win support around Asia.

the story of India's reemergence as a regional power is more attractive to many states in the region. The fact that one likes Indian culture may not necessarily lead foreign governments to accede and acquiesce to Indian foreign policy objectives." Moreover. international rule-of-law. with a vibrant press and thriving entertainment industry. That allows the country to ." As the world's largest democracy.y add to Business Exchange While China's neighbors look at the country's rise with a mixture of apprehension and admiration. power²soft or hard²needs to be understood within the context of how attractiveness and influence in the region is acquired and wielded. unlike China. Seoul. India has no history of invasion or domination in East and Southeast Asia and does not have competing claims in the South China Sea with other Asian states. Although India is not looking to become an American ally. The regional order over the past two decades has been characterized by a move toward open markets. such as Tokyo. "it is not the size of the army that wins but the country that tells the better story. The enduring preference of all key states (with the exception of China) is to maintain the existing order vis-à-vis newly reemerging powers such as China and India. Canberra. "in today's world. multinational cooperation. "We see India's presence as being a beneficial and beneficent one to all of us in Southeast Asia. New Delhi is fundamentally satisfied with the existing strategic order. Manila and Bangkok. India was already a robust democratic country that has remained intact despite stillopen wounds from decades of disastrous socialist economic policies." India's then-Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor said in a speech last November. Singapore. Strategically Comfortable That India is rising through full and unapologetic participation in the American-led regional order works to its advantage. As Singapore's Foreign Minister George Yeo puts it in an interview with The Hindu newspaper in January 2007. Tharoor is correct to refer to India's soft-power advantages. India has huge soft power advantages over China and its state-controlled media. After all. Moreover. and an evolving democratic community²all backed by American preeminence and Washington's security alliances and partnerships with key capitals. But goodwill towards India and the enormous potential of Indian soft power²the ability to influence the behavior of other states through attraction and cooptation rather than military force or economic inducement²does not arise simply from the growing popularity of Bollywood movies or the fact that Indian contestants (along with those from Venezuela) have won more Miss World contests than any other country. Instead. The implication is India can take advantage of that goodwill as Asia's two giants battle for influence in the region and around the world.

Thus leadership and power are inextricably intertwined.. Unlike the intolerance of political pluralism in China. Nye Jr. but all have in common a relationship with followers. political and strategic elites increasingly see India as a predictable. in addition to being impressed with India's recently acquired hard-power abilities (such as its naval fleet of almost 60 surface ships). troops are stationed in some 130 countries around the globe. There are various types and levels of leadership.S. To lead is to help a group define and achieve a common purpose. its ability to persuade is at low ebb in many parts of the world. It is a central paradox of American power: The sheer might of the United States is unquestioned: U. Nye Jr. India's domestic habits of negotiation and compromise from 60 years of robust democracy offer greater reassurance to other states that these virtues will be carried over in New Delhi's interaction with other capitals. I will argue below that many leadership skills such as creating a vision. until recently the dean of Harvard's Kennedy School. 2004] of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government..leverage what Professor Michael Mandelbaum of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies calls "democratic exemplarism"²a paradigm emerging from the successful examples of not just the U. even among its oldest allies. The dictionary says that leadership means going ahead or showing the way." Joseph S.S. Indian politics and society are well aligned with regional standards of what constitutes a modern and legitimate social and political system. Nye Jr. plus an economy that has been growing at a rate of 7 percent to 8 percent for almost two decades. Not Much Apprehension Therefore. Dean [until June 30. In the following remarks." says Joseph S. cooperative. In particular. The Benefits of Soft Power 8/2/2004 "Leaders have to make crucial choices about the types of power that they use. . distinguishes between hard power²the power to coerce²and soft²the power to attract. but the evolving liberal democracies in East and Southeast Asia. and no opposing army would dare to challenge it on a level playing field. stabilizing. and attractive rising power. But as America's military superiority has increased. Here's how to choose. drawn from an address given on March 11 at the Center for Public Leadership's conference on "Misuses of Power: Causes and Corrections. by Joseph S.

but it failed to prevent September 11. In international politics. Power resources cannot be judged without knowing the context. Or some radical Muslims may be attracted to support Osama bin Laden's actions not because of payments or threats. It is equally important to understand which resources provide the best basis for power behavior in a particular context. That is what revolutions are about. attracting and choosing able people. For example. Soft power Everyone is familiar with hard power. economic strength. y y y You can coerce them with threats. power is the ability to influence the behavior of others to get the outcomes one wants. Someone who has authority. in terms of resources. loyal Catholics may follow the Pope's teaching on capital punishment not because of a threat of excommunication. nor was uranium significant before the nuclear age. they sometimes encounter the paradox that those most endowed with power do not always get the outcomes they want. territory. Soft power rests on the ability to shape the preferences of others. military force. Yet strategies are often inadequate and leaders frequently misjudge²witness Hitler in 1941 or Saddam Hussein in 1990. or possess wealth are not the most powerful. and predictable. by this second definition. Or you can attract or co-opt them. the United States was the world's only superpower in 2001. But when people define power as synonymous with the resources that produce it. we consider a country powerful if it has a relatively large population. and social stability. The virtue of this second definition is that it makes power appear more concrete. Hard power can rest on inducements ("carrots") or threats . what is power? What is power? At the most general level.communicating it. There are several ways to affect the behavior of others. Converting resources into realized power in the sense of obtaining desired outcomes requires well-designed strategies and skillful leadership. Sometimes I can affect your behavior without commanding it. Power in this sense is like holding the high cards in a card game. Measuring power in terms of resources is an imperfect but useful shorthand. You can induce them with payments. wealth. If you believe that my objectives are legitimate. Oil was not an impressive power resource before the industrial age. but out of respect for his moral authority. In some situations those who hold high office. We know that military and economic might often get others to change their position. delegating. measurable. or an attractive personality is called powerful. natural resources. But first we should ask. command force. I may be able to persuade you without using threats or inducements. Practical politicians and ordinary people often simply define power as the possession of capabilities or resources that can influence outcomes. For example. but because they believe in the legitimacy of his objectives. and forming coalitions depend upon what I call soft power.

political values and institutions. it will cost less to lead. If I can get you to want to do what I want. influence can also rest on the hard power of threats or payments. smart executives know that leadership is not just a matter of issuing commands. Command power²the ability to change what others do²can rest on coercion or inducement. In the business world. If a leader represents values that others want to follow. Hard and soft power sometimes reinforce and sometimes interfere with each other. then I do not have to use carrots or sticks to make you do it. It uses an attraction to shared values. contemporary practices of community-based policing rely on making the police sufficiently friendly and attractive that a community wants to help them achieve shared objectives. And soft power is more than just persuasion or the ability to move people by argument. The interplay between hard and soft power Hard and soft power are related because they are both aspects of the ability to achieve one's purpose by affecting the behavior of others. If I am persuaded to go along with your purposes without any explicit threat or exchange taking place²in short. in behavioral terms. Soft power resources are the assets that produce such attraction. aspire to its level of prosperity and openness. if my behavior is determined by an observable but intangible attraction²soft power is at work.("sticks"). Simply put. Soft power uses a different type of currency²not force. soft power is attractive power. culture. Soft power is not merely the same as influence. and policies that are seen as legitimate or having moral authority. emulate its example. both in the nature of the behavior and in the tangibility of the resources. This soft power² getting others to want the outcomes that you want²co-opts people rather than coerces them. Political leaders have long understood the power that comes from attraction. After all. Soft power is a staple of daily democratic politics. but also involves leading by example and attracting others to do what you want. Co-optive power²the ability to shape what others want²can rest on the attractiveness of one's culture and values or the ability to manipulate the agenda of political choices in a manner that makes others fail to express some preferences because they seem to be too unrealistic. and attraction often leads to acquiescence. The ability to establish preferences tends to be associated with intangible assets such as an attractive personality. The distinction between them is one of degree. The types of behavior between command and co-option range along a spectrum from coercion to economic inducement to agenda-setting to pure attraction. It is also the ability to attract. Similarly." A country may obtain the outcomes it wants in world politics because other countries admire its values. though that is an important part of it. The indirect way to get what you want has sometimes been called "the second face of power. Soft power rests on the ability to shape the preferences of others. But sometimes you can get the outcomes you want without tangible threats or payoffs. whereas hard power resources are usually associated with command behavior. Soft power resources tend to be associated with the co-optive end of the spectrum of behavior. not money²to engender cooperation. A leader who courts popularity may be loath to exercise . and the justness and duty of contributing to the achievement of those values.

technology will spread to other countries and peoples. Otherwise leaders would insist only on immediate payoffs and specific reciprocity.hard power when he should. All power depends on context²who relates to whom under what circumstances²but soft power depends more than hard power upon the existence of willing interpreters and receivers. At the beginning of the 21st century. But with time. and we know that is not always the way they behave. but a leader who throws his weight around without regard to the effects on his soft power may find others placing obstacles in the way of his hard power. attraction often has a diffuse effect of creating general influence. leaders have less leeway to adopt tactics and strike deals. it is important to specify the conditions under which attraction is more likely to lead to desired outcomes. and diffuse reciprocity is less tangible than an immediate exchange. Some imitation or attraction does not produce much power over policy outcomes. Moreover. A dictator cannot be totally indifferent to the views of the people under his rule. The information revolution and globalization are transforming and shrinking the world. The limits of soft power Some skeptics object to the idea of soft power because they think of power narrowly in terms of commands or active control. In settings where opinions matter. Transnational corporations and . the information revolution is creating virtual communities and networks that cut across national borders. Even more important. such goodwill may not ultimately be honored. For example. and neither does imitation always produce desirable outcomes. In their view. The information revolution The conditions for projecting soft power have transformed dramatically in recent years. In contrast. Just as money can be invested. Nonetheless. the indirect effects of attraction and a diffuse influence can make a significant difference in obtaining favorable outcomes in bargaining situations. politicians speak of storing up political capital to be drawn upon in future circumstances. and those when it will not. it was far easier for the United States to obtain the use of bases in authoritarian Uzbekistan for operations in Afghanistan. Thus it was impossible for the Turkish government to permit the transport of American troops across the country in 2003. because American policies had greatly reduced our popularity there. Of course. armies frequently imitate and therefore nullify the successful tactics of their opponents and make it more difficult for them to achieve the outcomes they want. but he can often ignore popularity when he calculates his interests. At the same time. rather than producing an easily observable specific action. But attraction often does allow you to get what you want. and America's relative preeminence will diminish. Not all hard power actions promptly produce desired outcomes. Soft power is also likely to be more important when power is dispersed. The skeptics who want to define power only as deliberate acts of command and control are ignoring the second or "structural" face of power²the ability to get the outcomes you want without having to force people to change their behavior through threats or payments. those two forces have enhanced American power. imitation or attraction do not add up to power.

The world of traditional power politics is typically about whose military or economy wins. power in an information age will come not just from strong hard power. such sharing not only enhances the ability of others to cooperate with us but also increases their inclination to do so. but from strong sharing. Finally. Many of those organizations will have soft power of their own as they attract citizens into coalitions that cut across national boundaries. or the fact that economic sanctions have historically failed to produce their intended outcomes in more than half the cases where they were tried." When people are overwhelmed with the volume of information confronting them. and credibility that is enhanced by values and policies. The most likely gainers in an information age will have: y y y multiple channels of communication that help to frame issues. Soft power resources are difficult to control. but the role of credibility becomes an even more important power resource because of the paradox of plenty. legitimacy. it is hard to know what to focus on. Moreover. cultural customs and ideas that are close to prevailing global norms. it may also turn out to be counterproductive if it undermines a reputation for credibility. and sometimes take years to produce the desired outcomes. and more cumbersome to wield than hard power resources. and that has produced a "paradox of plenty. we develop . The result is an explosion of information. This political game in a global information age suggests that the relative role of soft power to hard power will likely increase. credibility is an important source of soft power. and credibility. the soft sell may prove more effective than a hard sell. these differences are matters of degree. Many of its crucial resources are outside the control of governments. Reputation has always mattered in political leadership. As we share with others.nongovernmental actors will play larger roles. Of course. more diffuse. Technological advances have led to dramatic reduction in the cost of processing and transmitting information. Information that appears to be propaganda may not only be scorned. and those who can distinguish valuable information from background clutter gain power. Not all hard power actions promptly produce desired outcomes²witness the length and ultimate failure of the Vietnam War. soft power resources are slower. Political leadership becomes in part a competition for attractiveness. Attention rather than information becomes the scarce resource. Politics has become a contest of competitive credibility. Editors and cue-givers become more in demand. Information is power. Politics in an information age may ultimately be about whose story wins. The ability to share information²and to be believed²becomes an important source of attraction and power. Among editors and cue-givers. soft power resources often work indirectly by shaping the environment for policy. and their effects depend heavily on acceptance by the receiving audiences. But generally. and today a much larger part of the world's population has access to that power. Under the new conditions more than ever. In an information age.

harvard. Power has never flowed solely from the barrel of a gun. but it meant that it had to pay higher costs in the blood and treasure than would otherwise have been the case. he could have attracted moderate Israelis and would have a Palestinian state by now. Skillful leaders have always understood that attractiveness stems from credibility and legitimacy. Kennedy School of Government. if Yasser Arafat had chosen the soft power model of Gandhi or Martin Luther King rather than the hard power of terrorism. Compass is published by the Center for Public Leadership. John F. is the Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations at the John F. to set the agenda²has its roots in thousands of years of human experience. even the most brutal dictators have relied on attraction as well as fear. When the United States paid insufficient attention to issues of legitimacy and credibility in the way it went about its policy on Iraq. Spring 2004. Dismissing the importance of attraction as merely ephemeral popularity ignores key insights from new theories of leadership as well as the new realities of the information age. For more information on Compass. to frame the issues. write to cpl@ksg. Leaders have to make crucial choices about the types of power that they use. Woe be to followers of those leaders who ignore or devalue the significance of soft power.common outlooks and approaches that improve our ability to deal with the new challenges. Harvard University. Nye Jr. Reproduced with permission from "Soft Power and Leadership. See the latest issue of Compass Joseph S. I said at the start that leadership is inextricably intertwined with The power to attract²to get others to want what you want. polls showed a dramatic drop in American soft power. Similarly. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard ." Compass: A Journal of Leadership. That did not prevent the United States from entering Iraq. Conclusion Soft power has always been a key element of leadership. Power flows from that attraction.

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