soft power

Near the center of the World Expo grounds, the crimson-painted, crown-shaped China Pavilion towers over other nations' exhibits as a physical display of the country's pride and growing power.

I was on a panel on Friday at the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. There is both good news and bad news in this critical area of the use of soft power. The good news is that after only a year in office, the Obama Administration has greatly improved the world’s view of America.

This dream-sense of "being a global player" was soon realized as too farfetched. Beside the current important elements of strong economies such as infrastructure, IT and human resources, Indonesia's state of mind isn't ready to play this global player role yet.

Views of the US around the world have improved sharply over the past year, according to a BBC World Service poll. For the first time since the annual poll began in 2005, America's influence in the world is now seen as more positive than negative.

April 16, 2010

PDiN Monitor Editorial Staff
Sherine B. Walton, Editor-in-Chief
Naomi Leight, Managing Editor

PDiN Contributing Researchers
Taleen Ananian
Paul Rockower
Di Wu

Perhaps more than anything, the involvement in Haiti shows the degree to which the military has embraced nation-building and stability operations — missions that require a degree of cooperation with nongovernmental organizations and civilian agencies that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

Along the gradient of power, there's a possible mix of "soft" and "hard" varieties. The public diplomacy originating at the U.S. State Department is commonly associated with the "soft" power of peaceful persuasion and cultural appeal...

Along the gradient of power, there’s a possible mix of “soft” and “hard” varieties. The public diplomacy originating at the U.S. State Department is commonly associated with the “soft” power of peaceful persuasion and cultural appeal; the foreign information efforts at the Pentagon are often in the service of some tangible “hard” power goal. The mixing often takes place in conflict zones, where a variety of forces and actors are in play. So who decides the mix, and how?

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