smart & soft power
Nicholas Cull discusses the growing role of city diplomacy and the emergence of the global city.
Cities are the primary building block of organized human existence. The concept of civilization – as its etymology suggests – rests on the phenomenon of the city and its distinctiveness from life lived beyond its walls. There has always been a powerful identification between a city and an individual inhabitant. It is the oldest bond in organized politics and hence appropriate that the term “citizen” should have been shared with the larger scale polities as they have emerged.
B. M. Jain's new book examines China's use of soft power tools to improve relations with countries like Bangladesh and India.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has many women - in his Presidency. [...] Unlike his old man, President Uhuru has many women who, behind the scenes, are said to be the ‘soft power’ of his presidency. And more than ever before, these women hold crucial positions even as Uhuru bids for a second term in the do-or-die August 8 General Election.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Chinese city of Dalian this week for the so-called Summer Davos comes at a time when China is assuming a greater global profile. [...] This week’s forum is not the first time this year that China has used the WEF to position itself positively on the world stage.
Through its Petrocaribe initiative, Venezuela has sold discounted oil to energy-deficient clients, practically giving it away in some cases. Lately, however, that generosity has diminished with Venezuela's economic misfortunes, hastened by tumbling global prices for oil -- the country's only viable source of export revenues. Even Brazil, with a fraction of Venezuela's reserves, now pumps 25 percent more oil.