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Soft Power: Why The Changing World Needs A 'softer Touch'

2285 words - 10 pages

Introduction: Why the Changing World Needs a 'Softer Touch'?"Globalization, "the child of both technology and policy," (91) has dramatically altered the power dynamics in the international arena. The current technology revolution has catalyzed the flow of information and innovations weaving the global community into a tight network. Consequently, Joseph Nye asserts that power distribution has become more complex, and can be viewed as a three-dimensional chess game. There are three boards: the top unipolar military board, the middle multipolar economic board, and the bottom transnational relations board. The top board is dominated by the U.S.; the middle board is shared by the U.S., Europe, ...view middle of the document...

Ultimately, international organizations seeking to establish legitimacy, must embrace soft power; for, "soft power is created partly by governments and partly in spite of them" (70); institutions can be instrumental in further creating soft power. The spread of democratic values is a strong source of soft power and if correctly pursued can enhance international stability and peace. In the following paper, I will discuss the increasing importance and need of soft power by states and international organizations as evidenced by Carter's policies in the U.S., reflecting soft power at the state level, and the UN as an example of soft power's importance as related to international institutions. (POOrlyphrased) ?? MAYBE AFTER 'AND THE' PUT IN 'IS COMPLEMENTED BY THE UN EXAMPLE OF SOFT POWER'S IMPORTANCE...."A Quick Look at History: Don't Play Hard , It May Not Pay"America's disproportionate reliance on hard power has cost its reputation time and again. The prevalence of anti-American sentiment and deep-rooted resentment of democratic values prevalent in many states, is largely a consequence of the arrogance and often unilateralist American foreign policy approach. Nonetheless, globalization has resulted in the infiltration of American culture around the world, essentially making American culture every state's second culture (71). This mixed sentiment towards America poses a delicate and precarious situation that the US must handle with immense tact by embracing its soft power. In the past, with World War II and the Cold War, the government sponsored efforts including the United States Information Agency, the Voice of America and the Fulbright student exchange programme. (http://observer.guardian.co.uk). However, the Marshal Plan. was the first major initiative that focused on soft power. It was a rational effort by the United States aimed at reducing hunger, homelessness, sickness, unemployment, and political restlessness in sixteen nations in Western Europe. The success of the program is a model for positive economic diplomacy even today.Soft Power and States: "Carter Knew... 'Sometimes Softer is Better !"After the Marshall plan, it was not until Carter's policies that soft power was brought to the forefront. In a 1977 commencement speech given at Notre Dame University, Carter conveyed his beliefs of the ideals and realities of American foreign policy. He implemented measures that reinforced the importance of human rights, morality, diplomacy, and peaceful settlements. In his speech Carter asserted, "We can no longer expect that the other 150 nations will follow the dictates of the powerful, but we must continue -- confidently -- our efforts to inspire, to persuade, and to lead" (http://usinfo.state.gov/) He clearly advocated soft power as he tried to convince the American people that the key to success involved persuasion and spreading of democratic values. He stated, "our policy must reflect our belief that dignity and freedom are fundamental...

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