16 May 2006

The Perils of Soft Power

By JOSEF JOFFE

In recent years, a number of American thinkers, led by Joseph S. Nye Jr. of Harvard, have argued that the United States should rely more on what he calls its "soft power" — the contagious appeal of its ideas, its culture and its way of life — and so rely less on the "hard power" of its stealth bombers and aircraft carriers. There is one problem with this argument: soft power does not necessarily increase the world's love for America. It is still power, and it can still make enemies.


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1 comment:

Joshua Webber said...

...therefore, the "perils of soft power" are the doldrums (brought on by "inferiority feelings") of american soft-power Recipients. Is this a peril? Only if soft power's role is to "increases the world's love for America." Even then, it is more of an unwanted (rather than feared) outcome. Otherwise, an interesteing "tale of two critics."