“What is soft power? It is the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or payments. It arises from the attractiveness of a country’s culture, political ideals, and policies.”Joseph S. Nye Jr., Soft Power: The Means To Success In World Politics
Flexing that military might of yours or engaging in carrot and stick policy is not the solution always. Sometimes all you need is to connect with the world, its people, their culture and bask in the diversity this world offers.
Generally, Power in International Relations is in relational terms with the subject’s ability to influence another subject’s behaviour to get the outcome he wants. (Nicolas Blarel 2012).
Here comes the concept of Soft Power in the international regime. The term was coined by American political scientist Joseph S Nye Jr. back in the 1980s. In simple terms, it just means that other states modify their inclinations based on their favourable perception of you.
Soft-power diplomacy and Nation States
One may ask now, how does the state modify their preferences? How do other nations create favourable perceptions?
There is no rocket science behind this, and the answer is easy— the world likes your story and your narrative. Thus, Soft-Power is a people-centric approach to winning hearts and minds. Political Science’s basics dictate that people form the basic unit of a state. Their mandate is the absolute will that needs to be pursued by the Government.
Therefore when most of the people of a nation admire a particular culture, ideology, people, foreign policy, values, arts, culture, music, philosophy, sports and cuisine, to name a few. It undoubtedly augments their global positioning and influence, significantly impacting people, businesses, and Government’s decisions.
Know more about Soft power through these Links
The world is dotted with examples as countries try to mark their presence on the world map. Want to know more, click here. (read this article by the International Prism)
You can understand more about soft power diplomacy by going through the global soft-power ranking report here.
(2019 report is the latest version available for now as 2020 and 2021 are not yet scheduled for release)
Why Soft Power matters to us
Thus at the International Prism, we believe in promoting soft power diplomacy through our writings on different cultures and reviews on books, entertainment, tourist places, cuisines etc. to spread the hidden gems of the world and welcome the heterogeneity which the world has to offer.
We consider that promoting youth, culture, heritage, traditions and values can further promote understanding about people and nations, thus bringing us closer. And when we are closer to each other, we foster respect for one another thus shunning away, racism, shaming, prejudice and hatred.
In the end, to conclude with the lines of Joseph S. Nye Jr in his book -Soft Power: The Means To Success In World Politics.
“When you can get others to admire your ideals and to want what you want, you do not have to spend as much on sticks and carrots to move them in your direction. Seduction is always more effective than coercion, and many values like democracy, human rights, and individual opportunities are deeply seductive.”
By Yash Arya