Last week, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf asked the impossible of our Foreign Office — project a soft image of Pakistan abroad through public diplomacy, cultural exchange, trade and people-to-people contacts.
...while American policymakers discuss our own plans for aid and development, seldom do we acknowledge how our adversaries also make use of soft power....Most impoverished Afghans delay marriages for years because they cannot afford the price tag. The Iranians, however, know that by subsidizing such marriages, they can win hearts and minds for a generation.
Over the past decade, China's economic and military might has grown impressively. This has frightened its neighbors into looking for allies to balance China's increase in hard power. But if a country can also increase its soft power of attraction, its neighbors feel less need to balance its power.
Professor Nye talked about Chinese soft power in detail. In the past decades, China published over a hundred articles on soft power and the term appeared on Chinese official language as well. He also pointed out that China has important resources...for generating soft power.
So imagine the surprise when a survey of the world’s leading soft powers comes up with, you guessed it, America in top slot. The survey was not done by some adjunct of the American policy establishment, either. It was published by Monocle, a book-sized, chunky magazine published in London and styling itself as a “briefing on global affairs, business, culture and design.”
Uprisings against tyrants in Africa and the Middle East. Economic immolation in Europe. Nuclear weapons programs in Iran and North Korea. Canada has never looked so good. Canada’s soft power values of peace, order and good government, ... are the envy of the planet. But if we fail to push our national interests, we’ll be in no position to assert these soft power values.
...Hu told the 17th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party that China needed to invest more in its soft power resources. Accordingly, China is spending billions of dollars on a charm offensive. The Chinese style emphasises high-profile gestures, such as rebuilding the Cambodian Parliament or Mozambique's foreign affairs ministry.
Moving forward, we need a far more neutral baseline in assessing power based not on a latent accounting of inputs such as nuclear stockpiles and Hollywood films produced, but on outputs: does it work?...As a student of diplomatic theory, the greatest myth elevated by the notion of ‘soft power’ is its self-identification with diplomacy and their collective antithetical role to ‘hard’ or military power.