joseph nye

Kenya has recently enhanced its "soft power hegemony" through its economic diplomacy, defined as the strategic use of wide-ranging economic tools and opportunities available to the state to achieve its national interest. Since 2013, Kenya has projected its soft power through economic diplomacy, in turn, transforming the country into 'a global soft power'.

Today, art is one of many weapons utilised by governments – including our own – in the battle for political influence. In its Public Diplomacy Strategy 2014-16, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) notes that culture and the arts are one of many ‘public diplomacy initiatives’ employed to strengthen Australia's influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

Soft power refers to the ability to change what others think and do through attraction and persuasion rather than compulsion and coercion. Scholars are still divided and failed to agree on an exact definition of soft power which remains loose and vague.

The Middle East remains of a major geostrategic importance. Global powers found in the recent developments an opportunity to chart their way into the region; sending troops and reinforcements, rebuilding alliances and restoring old relations. Amidst this chaotic environment, a number of regional forces opted to adopt a different approach: soft power. 

Taiwan has staged a remarkable diplomatic comeback even without an embassy in Ottawa or an official consulate in Vancouver. It's been done with the help of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, which has been employing soft power for many years to win the hearts of many Canadians.

The United Nations’ adoption in 2014 of an International Yoga Day was remarkable for many reasons. [...] No International Day resolution has been co-sponsored by so many countries or has been passed in such a short timeframe. It was definitely a remarkable achievement for Indian diplomacy. It has also been hailed as a demonstration of India’s soft power.

Daya Kishan Thussu’s Communicating India’s Soft Power: Buddha to Bollywood (Sage, 2016) is a rare resource on the subject of the country’s ‘soft power’. As the author himself claims, “on the soft power of China itself there are at least half a dozen books published in English – many more in Mandarin – while in the case of India the terrain is blank, despite its large array of soft power elements”. 

Australian animals have long been dispatched internationally as a form of diplomacy. In the past two years however, it has been koalas, rather than the platypi, who have shot to international notice as key Australian contenders in political power plays. 

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