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.