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Soft Power

To Deliver Soft Power, Digital Diplomats Need to Move Beyond Platforms

Jimmy Leach | Posted 07.15.2015 | Politics
Jimmy Leach

Done well, digital diplomacy ought to be the use of technology to deliver soft power and public policy messages, alongside the ability to engage with wider audiences of both state and non-state actors and use that feedback loop to understand more and to deliver better policy.

Interview with Harvard University Professor and Renowned International Relations Scholar, Joseph Nye

Samuel Ramani | Posted 06.12.2015 | World
Samuel Ramani

Joseph Nye is a University Distinguished Professor at Harvard University. He was also the former Dean of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and an Assistant Secretary of Defense under the Clinton administration.

FIFA Wars

Ana Davila | Posted 05.29.2015 | World
Ana Davila

In a series of peculiar events that can only be contextually placed in the reality of the 21st century, football, war, and diplomacy meet and intertwine. Today, Russia and the U.S take one more step in their very own modern adaptation of the Cold War in the curious battlefield of international soccer.

Countering Violent Extremism -- Put Youth at the Center of the Narrative

Erik Solheim | Posted 05.14.2015 | World
Erik Solheim

Kenya is preparing to host a summit to counter violent extremism in June 2015. A timely and vital initiative by a country reeling from tragic terror attacks.

Joseph Nye's 'American Century'

Philip Seib | Posted 04.25.2015 | Books
Philip Seib

Harvard professor Joseph Nye, well known for his explorations of soft power, considers the American prospect in his newly published book, Is the American Century Over? His answer is a carefully constructed "No," which is based partly on the fact that there is no logical successor to convincingly claim dominance over the next century.

The Limits of Japan's Soft Power

Daniel Wagner | Posted 04.04.2015 | World
Daniel Wagner

Japan is determined to be a force for peace and stability in the war-torn Middle East, yet until and unless its constitution is changed to permit the country to project its power in a meaningful manner militarily, its ability to influence events in other regions of the world will remain limited.

Boost Japan's Soft Power: Listen to Kenji Goto's Mother

Nancy Snow | Posted 04.03.2015 | World
Nancy Snow

Weeping mothers are not usually embroiled in international crisis, nor are they typical foreign policy advisers. But now is the time for the Shinzo Abe government to listen to Mrs. Ishido. Less political outrage, more national contemplation.

Awesome America: A Love Story

Marwan Bishara | Posted 03.15.2015 | Politics
Marwan Bishara

While American patriotism -- the love of one's country -- is "awesome" in more ways than one, American nationalism -- the belief that America is the "greatest nation on earth," with the "greatest military power", and the "greatest ideals" -- can become dangerous.

The Battle for Soft Power: America's Digital Cold War with China

Justin O’Connor | Posted 08.23.2014 | World
Justin O’Connor

Talk these days of the creative economy as soft power and a harbinger of world peace, ignores the huge struggles taking place between Google, Facebook no one hand and Baidu, We Chat, Tencent on the other, pitching the U.S. and China directly against each other in a cold digital war of online platforms, search engines and aggregation algorithms. It is very nice to assert the diversity of cultures in a globalized world. But this diversity is in reality dependent on some very hard issues of finance, intellectual property rights and communications infrastructures.

How Putin Stole Our Smartpower

András Simonyi | Posted 08.18.2014 | World
András Simonyi

hile Putin uses the whole spectrum of power tools, he forces us to ask questions about our own poor, soulless, haphazard, and anemic conduct. Why is it that we are so poorly equipped to use the whole set of power tools at our disposal to counter him? The West can do better.

Will America's Failed Domestic Policy Spur a New Cold War?

Karen J. Alter | Posted 07.13.2014 | Politics
Karen J. Alter

While confronting Russia undermines popular support for American and European leaders, Putin, by contrast, is finding that fighting the West enhances his popularity.

Public Diplomacy and Press Freedom

Philip Seib | Posted 04.26.2014 | Media
Philip Seib

The White House and State Department need to rev up the engine of public diplomacy and make it more central to U.S. foreign policy. Forcefully defending press freedom would be a good way to start. The world will take note.

The Long-Term State of the Union - Counting the Cost of Empire?

David Coates | Posted 04.18.2014 | Politics
David Coates

There is something desperate about the current quality of politics in Washington DC. It is not that our elected representatives steadily avoid any discussion of key issues. It is rather that the way in which they choose to discuss those key issues trivializes them to the point of folly.

Bringing a Hard Edge to Soft Power

Philip Seib | Posted 04.08.2014 | World
Philip Seib

In some countries, including the United States, politics and the scarcity of common sense have led to soft power being pushed out of the policy mainstream, consigned to the backwaters of wishful thinking. Correcting this, in the United States at least, will require structural change.

Public Diplomacy's Branding Trap

Philip Seib | Posted 03.19.2014 | World
Philip Seib

If Apple, Disney, Coca Cola and other corporate giants benefit from their carefully nurtured brands, why shouldn't nations do the same? "Branding" is a fashionable tool on which some public diplomats rely heavily... perhaps too heavily.

China, Soft Power, and the Philippine Crisis

David W. Kearn | Posted 01.23.2014 | World
David W. Kearn

China has been noticeably muted in its response to the Philippines' plight even as it has positioned itself as the leading power in the Asia-Pacific region.

Japan's Influence in the Middle East

Daniel Wagner | Posted 01.23.2014 | World
Daniel Wagner

Although it is not widely recognized as such, Japan is one of the most influential economic actors in the Persian Gulf -- something that is unlikely to change in the near or medium term.

Why Is President Aquino So Popular? Effective Leadership and Enigmatic Charisma

Richard Javad Heydarian | Posted 11.26.2013 | World
Richard Javad Heydarian

What's fascinating with Aquino's popularity, not exactly his policies, is his ability to maintain public support despite repeated crises questioning his leadership.

Putin's Great Game

Howard Schweber | Posted 11.16.2013 | World
Howard Schweber

Putin's game is larger than Syria, and his audience is not the American voters, although he is happy to take advantage of the dysfunctional state of American politics. Putin's audience is somewhere else entirely: the capitals of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and China.

As Much Power as a Word: Fulbright and Soft Power

Tom Healy | Posted 10.29.2013 | World
Tom Healy

What is soft? What is hard? What is power? Can power be created or is there a finite amount, a zero sum game that means if I have the power, you do not?

The Limits to Obama and Xi's Smiles

Kyle Hutzler | Posted 10.21.2013 | World
Kyle Hutzler

Relationships between the two leaders have grown consistently warmer, while the popular perception among citizens of both countries towards the other remain troublingly negative.

Foreign Policy Begins at Home: Fact or Just Rhetoric?

Manjula Dissanayake | Posted 10.24.2013 | Politics
Manjula Dissanayake

I personally believe that the U.S. still has the capacity and the aspiration to remain the nation of opportunity for generations to come.

From Containment to 'Restrainment'

Christopher Holshek | Posted 07.02.2013 | Politics
Christopher Holshek

Given the recent behavior of the United States when dealing with Libya, Syria, Mali, Iran, and North Korea, what we may be witnessing is a new way of applying Roosevelt's adage more along more humble lines of practice than seen certainly since becoming the world's only superpower.

Margaret Thatcher's Soft Power?!

András Simonyi | Posted 06.09.2013 | Politics
András Simonyi

2013-02-04-CTRlogo.jpgReading the eulogies written in the last 24 hours, one wonders if the full measure of her legacy is really understood. Her strength was forged in her ability to wisely marry her pragmatism with her strong principles of freedom and democracy.

Can Erdogan Now Deliver His End of the Bargain With Israel?

Daniel Wagner | Posted 06.03.2013 | World
Daniel Wagner

. Nonetheless, as the Syrian crisis continues to threaten the security of all the Levantine states and the Iranian issue continues its slow boil, greater cooperation should be expected between the two. The rapprochement is real; the question is, does it matter?