While Joseph Nye's original coining of the term Soft Power has, till now, been explored mostly for its relevance to international relations, on this site we pull it back to its constituent parts and see how it can be made relevant and useful at a variety of levels.
If soft power was defined in contrast to hard power, then it must be as useful to individuals, communities and organisations as it is to nations. More than that, if one wants to understand where the macro soft power of nations arises from, then it might help to look at the micro soft power of its leaders and citizens.
Soft Power is a 'psychosocial' phenomenon, sourced in the culture of a nation or the character of an individual.
It arises in relationship with another country, community or person and is experienced as the power of attraction. It is carried through the networks where image, reputation, and popularity are forged and is expressed as the ability to influence the decisions of others without the use of force.
Soft Power is of interest to nations because it translates directly into influence – other nations listen. It also leads indirectly to more trade, tourism and investment. It is of interest to individuals because it gives them clout. Soft powered individuals get things done because others want to support them.
Soft Power cannot be manufactured, contrived, bought or sold. But it can be generated through paying attention to behaviour, activity, values, and relationship.
Soft Power Network is a meeting point for those interested in generating soft power and a resource for those looking for practices, tools, and help to use them.
Indra Adnan, Director of Soft Power…Continue
Posted by indraadnan on March 28, 2014 at 14:36
I suspect it was no accident that Simon Anholt's masterclass was held on the 28th floor of Millbank Tower -- one of the higher points in London (though, not yet the Shard). Instantly we were breathing the rarefied air of the global consultant,…Continue
Posted by indraadnan on March 10, 2013 at 13:00
Soft power battles looming over spirituality as British intellectuals gather in the fields to look at their alter egos..
The idea of soft power as a benign thing
The difficulty today of having two faces - one domestic, one global. Once soft power was about culture, today - as predicted by me - it is about behaviour.
Great relationship exercises from Obama - immense soft power.
Obama's charm can be coercive for those who don't agree. Much more needs to be done at the interface.