history & theory

CPD Fellow Vivian Walker looks at what the Peloponnesian War can teach us about today's foreign policy.

Shaun Riordan asks, "As U.S. hegemony declines and a more genuinely multipolar world system emerges, will alternative approaches to diplomacy and global governance also emerge?"

The University of Texas at Austin will establish a new interdisciplinary China Policy Center, with a charge to make enduring contributions to the study of China-related policy topics while advancing U.S.-China relations and Texas-China relations.

Zhou Enlai was foreign minister of the People’s Republic of China from 1949 until 1958 and its first premier. He defined diplomacy as a continuation of warfare by other means. In the contemporary world, that definition includes an understanding of the concepts of hard and soft power. Joseph Nye developed the idea of soft power as the ability to attract and persuade rather than applying economic, military and political hard power.

A strategic approach which protects the Gambia interests must be the ultimate goal of the government. Although reciprocity and sovereign equality is the basis on which states interrelate to each other, hegemonic powers tend to use their superior economic capabilities as bargaining leverages to attain better deals at the expense of developing economies. This starkly reminds us that international politics is a deadly complex business which requires a clear-cut thinking strategy to mitigate the brute forces of material power.

Trump’s trip left a big impression on our European allies. So much, that German Chancellor Angela Merkel turned around and announced at a campaign rally that “the times when we could completely rely on others are, to an extent, over.” Joseph Nye’s theory is that when the citizens of another country have a positive view of the U.S. it improves our chances of being able to achieve our foreign policy goals with that country. This soft power, the power of attraction contrasts with hard power, the power of coercion, such as military might and economic sanctions.

Public diplomacy has always been an essential part of NATO’s mission.  NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) understands that in order to keep our people safe and to protect the values we hold dear – democracy, individual liberty, human rights and the rule of law – we must have the support of the public. Public diplomacy is about making sure that the public understands what NATO is, what it wants to achieve, and how it tries to achieve it. 

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