Hard power and soft power and terrorism

Essay by theurgeCollege, UndergraduateA, August 2006

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

Downloaded 43 times

Soft power defined, Hard power revised

Power, as one of the most regular and widely used words in today's society, has raised various debates and controversy in its application on international affairs. A decade or so earlier, Joseph S. Nye coined the term soft power (Nye) which was developed as a term of international power compared to military and economic power by him during the following years. From Nye's point of view, soft power is the ability to get desired outcomes because others want what you want. It is the ability to achieve goals through magnetism rather than bullying (Nye 398). However, because Nye is not using this idea consistently it is necessary to clarify some essential elements of soft power.

First of all, with regard to the definition of soft power, soft power is an indirect but practical alternative to hard power which can be used to compete with other political actors on the international scale.

The public and international organizations can be seen as two channels for the use of soft power. The effectiveness of soft power depends on the quality of the interaction between the public and the decision maker in other countries and the shaping of international institutions and norms.

Secondly, as to the source of soft power, foreign policy is the main source of soft power. Firstly, it contributes to the building of a country's image. By comparing actions along with statements not only decision makers but also the public can judge if it is worth trusting a country in international affairs. Secondly, the foreign policy reflects what kind of attitude a country will take in the participation in the international affairs. Finally, foreign policy contributes to the building of international institution and norms.

The political value is another important source of soft power. In...