On the opposing side, there are those who cite Kuwait in the sixties, seventies and a substantial part of the eighties when its leadership in development, business, foreign aid and cultural production afforded it a soft power influence many times its counterparts.

February 25, 2012

South Africa certainly has massive foreign-policy weaknesses: poor public diplomacy, inconsistent and unpredictable moves on the world stage, and political and technical skills deficits within the international relations department. But a dearth of morality is not one of them.

Competitors, be it hard currency (trade) or hardware and software (information technology), India and China are, and have reasons to be, competing in exercising their soft power as well. Inheritors of ancient cultures that have influenced others for centuries, both vigorously "export" them as part of "soft diplomacy".

Beginning February 9 in Atlanta, Georgia, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) will host the first of nine 2012 Fulbright Foreign Student Enrichment Seminars. Students will learn about the U.S. political system and the electoral process.

After experiencing democracy and freedom of expression, Taiwanese are unlikely to settle for anything less than the open society that they have today. Serious moves toward unification will depend on the effectiveness of China’s soft-power approach, which cannot be limited only to the attractiveness of its economy if it is actually to succeed.

It is time for Ankara to recognize that there are serious differences between it and Tehran's regional visions. All in all, Iran's lack of democracy limits the scope of this country's foreign policy. Iran cannot generate the soft power that would show it to be a natural supporter of all pro-democratic movements in the Islamic world.

While Twitter and other social media had become a megaphone disseminating information about the uprisings to the outside world, Marks said, "a comprehensive study of Tweets about the Egyptian and Libyan uprisings" found that more than 75 percent of people who clicked on embedded Twitter links related to the uprisings were from outside the Arab world.

January 24, 2012

India's metropolitan youth are gung-ho about the country's future and that's largely because of their immense belief in themselves. According to a recent poll, on the issue of which is India's biggest strength, 61% overall picked youth power, 16% each opted for "emerging economy" and "democracy" and 7% for "soft power".