January 15, 2012

Thus, one should not be very optimistic about the US ability to create effective linkages with the nascent civilian governments of the region, not even Turkey's. It is “INT'L 101” level knowledge that the main US weakness is public diplomacy.

Now that the events of 2011 have turned Arab politics upside down, U.S. policymakers are facing what they hate most: irrelevance. Those who were so long ignored by American public diplomacy are finally gaining power as evidenced by the successes of the Ennahda Party in Tunisia...

For a while soft power was undercut because the US reputation was tarnished, but the Arab awakening has demonstrated how powerful American-driven social media are in opening up closed societies. But when IBM invests massively in Africa - which it has identified as the next major emerging growth market - it is also investing in an openness that advances US interests.

Thus, Seoul fully recognizing the limits of its hard power, values the utility and significance of soft power. Over the years, it has harnessed its soft power resources in burnishing its image at regional and global fora.

...western media have taken Hu’s remarks as a sign China’s rulers are principally concerned with the corrosive influence of western soft power, Pirates of the Caribbean outshining the state-backed Founding of a Republic.

December 14, 2011

...while the Turkish model of democracy has made Ankara very popular amongst the youth and Islamist movements from Sana’a to Tunis—who see Turkey’s democratic success as a potential path they wish to take—Turkey could soon be one of many voices in the region, notably Cairo, promoting different models of local democracy and their soft power will be tied to how many states adopt their model.

December 9, 2011

The long-introverted political outlook of Turkey was transformed by economic growth that allowed its soft power to expand beyond national boundaries. An import substitution economy gave way to an export growth economy that opened Turkey to the world.

December 7, 2011

Philip Seib says the network helped Qataris "put their country on the map". Members of the audience nod ­furiously. Seib then points out how Al Jazeera was a "public diplomacy creation . . . probably one of the most successful in history". The Al Jazeera representative on the panel suddenly looks distinctly uncomfortable.