On the evolving concept of "soft power" and key challenges facing U.S. public diplomacy.
Bad guys can possess soft power. I know—I wrote a book about it. But over most of the past century the U.S., as the soft power hyperpuissance, has largely set the standards of what constitutes effective national image projection. The United States has drawn its soft power, the “ability to shape the preferences of others,” as put by Joseph S. Nye, who devised the term.
Pakistan is now quoted as a country of peace lovers and peace builders as they have strived hard to overthrow their adversaries without any demoralization. The term ‘soft power’ was coined in 1990 by Professor Joseph Nye to explain how modern states can use positive attraction and persuasion to achieve global influence.
When discussing soft power, it is important to understand that, just like hard power, it is an attribute of force and as such, maintains a coercive, compulsory nature. Bidirectional influence is a purely methodological, not substantive quality, which creates the illusion that many are involved in the decision-making process, but the sole main beneficiary is still the state that is projecting its power.
THERE ARE SOME rather remarkable aspects of the increasingly heated debate about China’s influence in Australia. First, the idea that China actually has any “soft power” to exert is actually rather surprising. Soft power, after all, is something that has generally been associated with our cousins in the U.S. — not “Communist China”.
China had earned a great deal of soft power by hosting the high-level summit. Soft power, or the non-military influence that a country and its culture can have around the globe, has been a matter of focus in certain sections of the Chinese foreign policy establishment.
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.