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Strengthening U.S. "soft power" policies in regions of conflict.

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Avi Walker

on 1 April 2014

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Transcript of Strengthening U.S. "soft power" policies in regions of conflict.

Strengthening U.S. "soft power" policies in regions of potential & actual conflict...
What is power?
at its most general level, power can be descried as the ability to influence the behavior of others to get the outcomes one wants
how one goes about persuasion is a matter of soft or hard power
How soft & hard power coincide...
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. There is great distinction, both in the nature of the behavior and in the tangibility of the resources
Command power—the ability to change what others do can rest on coercion or inducement
Co-optive power—the ability to shape what others want
The types of behavior between command and co-optive range along a spectrum from coercion to economic inducement to agenda-setting to pure attraction. A leader who has high popularity, may fret exercising hard power when he should, 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
Modern Examples
foreign students enrolled in U.S. institutions
academic exchanges
worldwide consumption of American media products
"America as the beacon of modernity with its values of openness, mobility, individualism, pluralism, voluntarism, and freedom" - Joseph S. Nye Jr.
American culture
Closing Remarks...
soft power a key element of leadership e.g. the power to attract—to get others to want what you want, to frame the issues, and to set the agenda
stems from credibility and legitimacy
all powerful States, even dictatorships rely on some form of "soft power"
What is soft power?
Soft power is a concept developed by Joseph Nye of Harvard University to describe the ability to attract and co-optive rather than coerce, use force or give money as a means of persuasion
What is hard power?
hard power is the use of military and economic means to influence the behavior or interests of other political bodies
Limitations on soft power...
Those opposed to the effectiveness of soft power think of power narrowly in terms of commands or active control.
The skeptics who want to define power only as deliberate acts of command and control are ignoring the second or "structural" face of power; the ability to get the outcomes you want without having to force people to change their behavior through threats or payments.
At the same time, it is important to specify the conditions under which attraction is more likely to lead to desired outcomes, and those when it will not. All power depends on context, who relates to whom under what circumstances, but soft power depends more than hard power upon the existence of willing interpreters and receivers.
Soft power is also likely to be more important when power is dispersed. Consequently, making it 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. In contrast, it was far easier for the United States to obtain the use of bases in authoritarian Uzbekistan for operations in Afghanistan.
By: Alyssa Heath & Avi Walker
Pro "soft power" ...
no cost in its use i.e. no concessions made
little to no loss of life, foreign or domestic
reduced political backlash when effective
often less economically burdensome
fosters ally-ships
John Locke
relies heavily on Lockean principle that humans are rational by nature
right and wrong, just and unjust innately maintained by all humans
the natural state is peaceful
the State exists to maintain justice
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