joseph nye

September 15, 2010

In terms of soft power, communist ideology was attractive in post-World War II Europe, owing to its anti-fascist credentials. It was also popular in the Third World because of its identification with popular national-independence movements. Soviet propaganda actively fostered a myth of the inevitability of communism’s triumph.

Joseph S. Nye Jr., an expert on the projection of U.S. soft power abroad, says these incidents will make it increasingly hard for the United States to succeed in the Afghan war effort, and complicate relations with the Muslim world.

The Obama administration of has not changed its China policies, and it continues to apply the carrot and the stick through its “smart power” diplomacy because it wants to find a way to perpetuate its position as the leader, even if it is unable to cooperate or reach compromises with China on major global issues.

Have you heard of soft power? Me neither and yet the phrase was coined in 1989 by Clinton aide Joseph Nye, to mean a nation's cultural influence, or at least the influence it has that isn't economic or military. In the World Service's documentary of the same name, the first of two half-hours on this interesting topic, soft power was defined as "the power to be loved. Hard power is the power to be feared".

Last Thursday (March 4, 2010), some of the top thinkers currently engaging the issue of America’s image in the world testified on Capitol Hill in hearings before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs under the title ‘Restoring America’s Reputation in the World: Why it Matters.’ Joseph Nye of Harvard stressed the value of smart power. Andrew Kohut of Pew pointed to the fragility of the recent promising trends in world opinion and J.