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Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics

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Joseph Nye coined the term "soft power" in the late 1980s. It is now used frequently—and often incorrectly—by political leaders, editorial writers, and academics around the world. So what is soft power? Soft power lies in the ability to attract and persuade. Whereas hard power—the ability to coerce—grows out of a country's military or economic might, soft power arises from Joseph Nye coined the term "soft power" in the late 1980s. It is now used frequently—and often incorrectly—by political leaders, editorial writers, and academics around the world. So what is soft power? Soft power lies in the ability to attract and persuade. Whereas hard power—the ability to coerce—grows out of a country's military or economic might, soft power arises from the attractiveness of a country's culture, political ideals, and policies. Hard power remains crucial in a world of states trying to guard their independence and of non-state groups willing to turn to violence. It forms the core of the Bush administration's new national security strategy. But according to Nye, the neo-conservatives who advise the president are making a major miscalculation: They focus too heavily on using America's military power to force other nations to do our will, and they pay too little heed to our soft power. It is soft power that will help prevent terrorists from recruiting supporters from among the moderate majority. And it is soft power that will help us deal with critical global issues that require multilateral cooperation among states. That is why it is so essential that America better understands and applies our soft power. This book is our guide.


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Joseph Nye coined the term "soft power" in the late 1980s. It is now used frequently—and often incorrectly—by political leaders, editorial writers, and academics around the world. So what is soft power? Soft power lies in the ability to attract and persuade. Whereas hard power—the ability to coerce—grows out of a country's military or economic might, soft power arises from Joseph Nye coined the term "soft power" in the late 1980s. It is now used frequently—and often incorrectly—by political leaders, editorial writers, and academics around the world. So what is soft power? Soft power lies in the ability to attract and persuade. Whereas hard power—the ability to coerce—grows out of a country's military or economic might, soft power arises from the attractiveness of a country's culture, political ideals, and policies. Hard power remains crucial in a world of states trying to guard their independence and of non-state groups willing to turn to violence. It forms the core of the Bush administration's new national security strategy. But according to Nye, the neo-conservatives who advise the president are making a major miscalculation: They focus too heavily on using America's military power to force other nations to do our will, and they pay too little heed to our soft power. It is soft power that will help prevent terrorists from recruiting supporters from among the moderate majority. And it is soft power that will help us deal with critical global issues that require multilateral cooperation among states. That is why it is so essential that America better understands and applies our soft power. This book is our guide.

30 review for Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alberto Lucini

    Soft Power, ya I get it. Good concept. You don't need to write a whole book about it though. A journal entry will do. Soft Power, ya I get it. Good concept. You don't need to write a whole book about it though. A journal entry will do.

  2. 5 out of 5

    e.

    Many of the comments here question the necessity of dedicating a whole book on "soft power." I agree with this, Except that I think, this is not necessarily because soft power is a trivial issue -it most certainly is not. Why then, so much discomfort expressed by so many readers? Firstly because, even if you are a really hard-boiled "realistissimo," the importance of soft power goes without mentioning. It is almost taken for granted, and Nye Jr, the IR genius as he is, commits one of the rather Many of the comments here question the necessity of dedicating a whole book on "soft power." I agree with this, Except that I think, this is not necessarily because soft power is a trivial issue -it most certainly is not. Why then, so much discomfort expressed by so many readers? Firstly because, even if you are a really hard-boiled "realistissimo," the importance of soft power goes without mentioning. It is almost taken for granted, and Nye Jr, the IR genius as he is, commits one of the rather greater sins that readers find hard to tolerate: redundancy. He seemingly repeats and repeats his points to the degree that they almost lose their meaning. And no one has the patience, especially when there are so many books awaiting on the shelf to be read. But a second why: Why then, Nye, one of the living legends of the IR literature, having all the access to the journals and reviews of the area, preferred writing this book, a tedious task one imagines, instead of an article on the topic? I think there are three main reasons to this: first he, rightfully, wants to take credit of the fact that he is the one who has coined the term "soft power," especially after the widespread acceptance the term has received. By writing a book that addresses more to the general public than to the more obscure academia, he claims his right on the word. The redundancy and dullness of the book seem to be an acceptable price for that. After all, not many, even amongst the professionals of the area, do not read, the forefathers of the discipline, say Morgenthau (They are more likely to read people who read and wrote about these forefathers.) Then again, Morgenthau and his likes are known to be among the founding fathers of realism, if not international relations as a disipline. Similarly, even though this book is not likely to become a veritable reference for most, it successfully guarantees that Nye will be remembered as the guy who invented the term. Secondly, despite its spreading use, Nye is aware of the fact that the term is being taken out of context, and most of the time employed wrongly, especially by politicians. So he tries to avoid misunderstandings as far as the meaning of the term is concerned. And thus, he is entitled more than anyone else to draw the clear line between what he intended the term would refer to and what people perceive it to mean. Third, his choice of style, that the book is reminiscent of a policy recommendation paper rather than an academic analysis is informative. What the author tries to do is to put out a manual. That is, the meaning of soft power once clarified, he proceeds to describe how to put it into use by policy-makers. Power is one of the most important themes of international politics as a discipline. Almost all theories are identified, in some way or other, as to their approach to the issue of power. And for many scholars of the field, there are many aspects of power. For example, there is a general misconception, if not a sweeping assumption, with regards to realists: they are considered as dismissive of whatever they deem unrelated to power, and also picky as to the very definition of power itself, which means it is only "hard power" that interests them. I tend to think that this is a false statement. Not only because there are no realists out there who are possessed by the pure credo, or the "idéotype." Surely they are aware and appreciative of the value of other factors and other aspects of power. The realist can be, in that sense, likened to the physicist, who, by fear of not being able to reflect all the physical variables in his computations, take some and leave some. The decision of what to take and what to leave might indeed prove fateful in the end. But most of the times, it is more practical to eliminate the noise by leaving out certain factors, than overestimating their importance. It is the amount of noise that forces theorists to make the decision. I am not sure, however, that "soft power" can be disregarded even by the purest realist without risking to challenge the premises she has set out on in the first place. Because the definition of power made by Nye in this book is compelling and conforms almost mot-à-mot with its conventional definition by the realist clique (power means the ability to get the outcomes one wants.) Thereby, it is not so much academics as politicians he is addressing; especially the Bush Jr administration, who got it all wrong in everything they attempted. Hence the polite chiding, veiled condescension in the author's tone. Well, thinking back now, apart from, and in addition to, an attempt by the author at patenting the term he invented, the book might be perceived also as a position paper by a prominent and responsible academic, an invitation to a saner, respectable foreign policy; an apology for the evaluation of next generations, that he didn't remain inert while all the craziness was unfolding, that he did take a side. (And there are some useful lessons in the book for those foreign policy makers who are under the delusion that soap operas are great sources of soft power. Well guess what, they are not!)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Aziz Qaissi

    With the information revolution and the globalization of the economy, politics becomes in part a competition for attractivness, legitimacy, and credibility. The way to these is a smart wielding of a country's soft power. With the information revolution and the globalization of the economy, politics becomes in part a competition for attractivness, legitimacy, and credibility. The way to these is a smart wielding of a country's soft power.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kryštof Selucký

    "Power is like weather. Everyone depends on it and talks about it, but few understand it." Well, Joseph Nye does. In this book he talks about soft power: one of the most important and influential concepts in international relations theory in the last decades. He describes it clearly and illustrates it widely. Overall, this is the best book on soft power available, written by the author of the concept himself. The only inevitable hiccup might be the parts where he gives advice to American foreign "Power is like weather. Everyone depends on it and talks about it, but few understand it." Well, Joseph Nye does. In this book he talks about soft power: one of the most important and influential concepts in international relations theory in the last decades. He describes it clearly and illustrates it widely. Overall, this is the best book on soft power available, written by the author of the concept himself. The only inevitable hiccup might be the parts where he gives advice to American foreign policy makers which - more than 15 years after the original publication date - might seem partly outdated. However, that does not diminish the value of the book in any way. "Power is also like love, easier to experience than to define or measure, but no less real for that."

  5. 4 out of 5

    ريما

    Soft Power. This is a very well researched book, but putting in mind that it is indeed outdated, the only thing about it that is truly beneficial is in regards to "Past Experiences", what happened before and how it can be avoided in the future. Statistics & Polls were featured constantly which always good. People need to understand from where these views come from and how is it possible to approach them with Soft Power tools. In terms of theory: - Soft power is an "Attractive Power". - It is somet Soft Power. This is a very well researched book, but putting in mind that it is indeed outdated, the only thing about it that is truly beneficial is in regards to "Past Experiences", what happened before and how it can be avoided in the future. Statistics & Polls were featured constantly which always good. People need to understand from where these views come from and how is it possible to approach them with Soft Power tools. In terms of theory: - Soft power is an "Attractive Power". - It is sometimes called "The second face of power" -"Getting others to want the outcomes that you want" By.. "Getting others to buy into your values". Sources of soft Power "Their content must be attractive to others as well": 1- Culture. 2- Political Values. 3- Foreign Policy. The book itself is heavily invested in the United States and the war in Iraq & Afghanistan. Many things have changed since then but the notion of soft power remains the same. The author stresses on the fact that "Americans will have to be more aware of cultural differences", Being in 2013 I can honestly say that things are definitely changing but we still have a long way to go. "To be effective, we must become less parochial and more sensitive to foreign perceptions". Last chapter: "We have been more successful in the domain of hard power, where we have invested more, trained more, and have a clearer idea of what we are doing". Although that might be partially true, but I refuse to think that way. Hard power is never a success and the fact that theories like: Soft Power and Smart Power came to exist are clear evidences to that. The book is a good read for beginners in Public Policy, but in regards to SOFT POWER itself, I didn't get much. He emphasizes on its importance, but many paragraphs were rather redundant. I wasn't expecting a "HOW TO" guide, because each country has its own soft power tools, but I figured that people might need to know how soft power can be implemented clearly and sufficiently. 3.75/5

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ali Hassan

    Man has always been hungry for power. He wants to gain power by hook or crook. In his desire to seek more and more power, he uses a variety of tactics and tries to make other people do what he wants. Power is actually an ability to influence other peoples' behavior and compel them to do what you want without letting them know that you are the real driver of the vehicle of their lives. Power holder may be an individual or a group of individuals. It may also be a country in a broader sense if we l Man has always been hungry for power. He wants to gain power by hook or crook. In his desire to seek more and more power, he uses a variety of tactics and tries to make other people do what he wants. Power is actually an ability to influence other peoples' behavior and compel them to do what you want without letting them know that you are the real driver of the vehicle of their lives. Power holder may be an individual or a group of individuals. It may also be a country in a broader sense if we look at it from a global perspective. There are three main types of power e.g., economy, military, and soft power. The first two are called "carrots and sticks" in the language of diplomacy. The economy is used to allure other people or countries to attract them; whereas, the military is used to threaten other people or countries. Both strategies have been, and still are, used by the economically and militarily strong countries to pursue their interests. But when we look back at past events, we astonished to see that these two strategies were not always successful. The United States was far more powerful in military might at the time of war with Vietnam. But it lost. It was at the zenith of technological advancement and intelligence but it failed to prevent 9/11. And it is many times advance in weapons, having a robust system of surveillance and economic power far higher than Afghanistan, but it can't succeed even after fighting for almost nineteen years. The same position has been of Russia in the past. France and Britain had more tanks than Germany during WW-II but the results were not favorable to them. What is the reason behind such failures? The foremost reason is that we can suppress other countries by using military power or we can buy their loyalty for a little time but we can't influence their behavior or thoughts while using these two strategies. The panacea for maintaining power over other people or countries for a long span of time is soft power. There are three sources of soft power: culture, political values, and foreign policy. Culture is again divided into two categories, first is high culture, and the second is popular culture. The sources of high culture are literature, art, and education. High culture usually influences the elite classes. On the other hand, the main source of popular culture is the entertainment industry which influences the masses. (further explanation of all these sources may be a lengthy task, so would like to leave it here). However, I would like to mention some flaws and way out which people sitting at high echelons should seriously take into consideration. Let's start with the students across the world who study abroad. They are estimated at around 120 in the whole world. The United States is home 28 million of them which is the largest number of students in a country. When those students complete their education, they have become more American than their home country. They like to live in the U.S. or they reject the culture of their own country when they come back. They have become victims of American culture, education, and above all their liberal lifestyle inadvertently. But when it comes to the other source of soft power, the foreign policy. The U.S. seems failed in many countries. Take Pakistan as an example, the U.S. has given millions of dollars in aid to Pakistan. Yet the people in Pakistan don't like it much. Why? The answer is never worked on its soft power toward Pakistan and other Muslim countries. It has the hardest visa policy for Muslims. And it has a bleak image for the Muslims already living there. This is the reason why has it failed to seduce the majority of Muslims around the world. Similarly, other countries have also failed in accomplishing prosperity for their native people because of inadequate policies of soft power. For instance, look at the Arab world countries. They are 22 in numbers. They spend 6 percent of their GDP in gaining military equipment and weapons, however, they all combinely have fewer exports than Finland, excluding the exports of gas and oil. All they have is war. About forty-five percent of their total population is under 14 of age. And the unemployment rate is highest in the world. On the other side, Scandinavian countries are considered the most prosperous in the world. They have no huge military backups nor they have any conflict in the world. But they have tourist resorts, equalities and better facilities for their people and multilateral foreign policies. If we catch of glimpse of our own country, Pakistan. We see that it has been bestowed with world's one of the finest tourist resorts, yet many people don't want to visit it. The reason is its fragile entertainment industry which influences the masses as cited above. It has failed to attract people from other countries in comparison to Hollywood and Bollywood. The news channels also focus more on sensational news like terrorism, political instability, religious extremism, and other crises. Moreover, the succeeded governments have also been failed to uplift the plight of poor people of the country. Energy crises are rampant. The quality of education is the lowest. And the infrastructure is not appealing. And so on so forth. The situation can be normalized easily if the governments and the people who give mandate them to focus more the political values, the second source of soft power. Our values will determine our future. If values are based on cooperation, multilateralism, equalities, democracy, and peace than no power can halt us to emerge as a prosperous nation.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Nye's concept of "soft power" (often invoked and often incorrectly invoked) is an interesting addition to discussions of power and influence in international relations. It probably didn't need a book-length introduction, but Nye's writing style is clear and persuasive and, in a world in which leaders all too often choose hard power as their preferred response to international challenges or crises, the book is a welcome reminder that simply setting a good example and demonstrating success can go Nye's concept of "soft power" (often invoked and often incorrectly invoked) is an interesting addition to discussions of power and influence in international relations. It probably didn't need a book-length introduction, but Nye's writing style is clear and persuasive and, in a world in which leaders all too often choose hard power as their preferred response to international challenges or crises, the book is a welcome reminder that simply setting a good example and demonstrating success can go far towards promoting your own values and policies.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

    I'm not really sure this concept requires a whole book... I'm not really sure this concept requires a whole book...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eugene Kernes

    Military and economic power have tangible assets and are part of hard power. In political parlance, hard power assets are discussed due to their measurability. With hard power, to get what one desires and the needed outcome requires a payments or coercion. Joseph Nye points out that culture, policies, and institutions are not measurable but certainly can help or diminish the ability to get the desired outcomes. These assets are part of soft power, which Nye explains in this book. At its core, so Military and economic power have tangible assets and are part of hard power. In political parlance, hard power assets are discussed due to their measurability. With hard power, to get what one desires and the needed outcome requires a payments or coercion. Joseph Nye points out that culture, policies, and institutions are not measurable but certainly can help or diminish the ability to get the desired outcomes. These assets are part of soft power, which Nye explains in this book. At its core, soft power is attracting others to accept a viewpoint because they find it attractive. Altering behavior without commanding their acceptance. Other sources of power can have influence and persuasion is not a requirement of soft power, what matters is attraction. Attractive ideology and culture encourage others to mobilize their own activities for the preferred goals. Using soft power in a legitimate way from the vantage of others encounter less resistance. Hypocritic, indifference, and narrow policies undermine soft power. Inclusiveness matters for others to want to partake in a particular policy or activity. For countries, inclusiveness can be simply as seeking international support for international activities. Bypassing international and committing foreign policies independently can backfire by having allies less willing to comply with requests. Any power resource requires context to make effective use resources. Some soft power resources can encourage a particular policy but can demoralize in other situations. A policy that supports one group at the expense of another, will elicit attraction from one group and repulsion from the other. Many soft power resources are created via culture such as depicting certain people in entertainment in a particular way. How each message is screened and under what circumstances alter the outcome of any given use of resources. An extremely eloquent book but lacks systematic explanations. Most of the book is filled with real events, and each example is given a few background details. Those few details have been selected to support the idea of soft power. The problem with the few details, is the potential for other details to drastically change the use of soft power. The lessons from where soft power work and do not can be altered based on how well the reader knows the event under observation. Soft power becomes ever more important where power is dispersed. Dispersed power requires each decision maker to solicitate long-lasting relationships. Policies which foster cooperation in the future increase soft power assets. Joseph Nye does a magnificent job at explaining what soft power is and why it’s becoming an increasing important reason for why some countries have an easier time getting policy acceptance than other countries.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    The liberal position on power makes an interesting and oft-ignored case for understanding power. Power is measured, as Nye understands it, "by the changed behaviour of others". It ties together the neoliberal notion of society as a nexus of mutually interdepedent actors. To this extent I appreciate Nye's attempt at both conceding the importance of hard and latent power but also emphasizing the influence of an attractive power (where he says a politician must be simultaneously a Jeffersonian, a H The liberal position on power makes an interesting and oft-ignored case for understanding power. Power is measured, as Nye understands it, "by the changed behaviour of others". It ties together the neoliberal notion of society as a nexus of mutually interdepedent actors. To this extent I appreciate Nye's attempt at both conceding the importance of hard and latent power but also emphasizing the influence of an attractive power (where he says a politician must be simultaneously a Jeffersonian, a Hamiltonian, and a Wilsonian). Soft power, this power to attract - which let's be honest, is Gramscian hegemony worked out through a liberal perspective theory really - should be mentioned in a political theory. It astonishes me that realists only recognize legitimacy through the barrel of the gun or in the crease of a wallet. Now, what I have problems with is this American Idealism that he continues to push. Now the reasoning is, he's targeting the work towards US governance, but it really makes me question in a lot of ways whether the amount of effort to put in soft power channels through public diplomacy is beneficial for change and moral governance, or just function as a realist strategy that just serves hard power influence. This is an aspect of Gramscian hegemony that's often ignored: what does this nexus of relations ultimately serve? Some upright moral American path? Is that really why we implimented disastrous IMF policies in the global south? Fundamentally I don't reject soft power existing, I just think motivations to utilize differen't forms of power are much more complicated than either the realist's self preservation or the liberal self-reproducibility.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    This is a good overview of the concept of soft power, but as some other reviews have pointed out, it's maybe more verbose than it needs to be. The concept of soft power is not a difficult one to grasp, and only a small portion of the book is dedicated to discussing the fundamental nature of this form of power. Instead, Nye lays out examples of times when soft power proved useful throughout the post-WWII, cold war, and post-9/11 eras. The examples focus mainly on American soft power, though exampl This is a good overview of the concept of soft power, but as some other reviews have pointed out, it's maybe more verbose than it needs to be. The concept of soft power is not a difficult one to grasp, and only a small portion of the book is dedicated to discussing the fundamental nature of this form of power. Instead, Nye lays out examples of times when soft power proved useful throughout the post-WWII, cold war, and post-9/11 eras. The examples focus mainly on American soft power, though examples from other countries are peppered in. Over all, Nye makes a good case for taking soft power seriously, although I was already won over on that before I opened the book. I didn't really feel like I walked away with a better understanding of the topic, simply because most of the book was presenting evidence for a concept with which I was already comfortable. I think this is a worthwhile read for someone who is unacquainted with or skeptical of the concept of soft power. For those already familiar with the concept of soft power and who share the author's view on its relevance to domestic and foreign policy, prepare to think "Tell me something I don't know," and "Does this really need to be a book?"

  12. 5 out of 5

    Luis Rodrigues Rocha

    It’s a great book with a very well founded research behind. Joseph S.Nye explains his concept on a new dimensional source of power that has been so popular amongst the elite and their pretentious speeches. However, it is clear that several politicians were misusing this concept, and one must not assume soft power is just influence and persuasion of other countries. According to the author, Soft power it's part of a three-dimensional chessboard where the political and diplomatic forces combine th It’s a great book with a very well founded research behind. Joseph S.Nye explains his concept on a new dimensional source of power that has been so popular amongst the elite and their pretentious speeches. However, it is clear that several politicians were misusing this concept, and one must not assume soft power is just influence and persuasion of other countries. According to the author, Soft power it's part of a three-dimensional chessboard where the political and diplomatic forces combine their mastery and skill to influence the way their strength is distinguished by other countries using diplomacy, foreign policy, internal policy, governance, investment in international media broadcasting, media coverage influence and the influence with the entertainment industry (cinema, theatres and music).

  13. 5 out of 5

    Areej

    It’s the second time I read the book, last time was a couple of years back. This time I highlighted the parts I enjoyed the most. I still loved the book and enjoyed it very much. I would’ve easily given this book 6 stars not only 5, only if it has been updated or adjusted to recent years. All information as useful and interesting is more than a decade old. What was applicable and examples from back then, are not only different, but many important events and technological advances since the last u It’s the second time I read the book, last time was a couple of years back. This time I highlighted the parts I enjoyed the most. I still loved the book and enjoyed it very much. I would’ve easily given this book 6 stars not only 5, only if it has been updated or adjusted to recent years. All information as useful and interesting is more than a decade old. What was applicable and examples from back then, are not only different, but many important events and technological advances since the last update effect the approach towards soft-power. Media platforms changed dramatically, needs to be adjusted to the modern day usage of the internet and smartphones/apps. Hope to see an update version or a sequel.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jahanzaib Mengal

    The book was illuminating a new concept of thinking in international relations. The term 'soft power' has been first coined by Joseph S. Nyer in 1980s and has been used since by politicians, journalists and columnists. The writer brings up the intention of writing the book to take out the misleading conception of the concept which many have misunderstood. He divides the book into five chapters where most of them focus on American soft power. Most of the book covers the era of Iraq invasion and th The book was illuminating a new concept of thinking in international relations. The term 'soft power' has been first coined by Joseph S. Nyer in 1980s and has been used since by politicians, journalists and columnists. The writer brings up the intention of writing the book to take out the misleading conception of the concept which many have misunderstood. He divides the book into five chapters where most of them focus on American soft power. Most of the book covers the era of Iraq invasion and the distortion of US soft image/power or its attractiveness. Many aspects of soft power are missing in the book. The writers major concentration is on American soft power. And also the book only covers the post 9/11 with cold war in few occations discussed. Over all the book is a good read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Abinesh

    Soft power gives a new prespective in world politics. Relying on Hard power (economic and military strength) doesn't make a country sucessful or powerful, make others actors to follow what you want or say, work on your interest. Great book. Just to mention one incident: Late King Birendra proposal to make Nepal 'Zone of peace' in world could have massively strengthen our soft power but beacuse of Indian rejection which was followed by USSR( because of their strong ties) Birendra vision was incompl Soft power gives a new prespective in world politics. Relying on Hard power (economic and military strength) doesn't make a country sucessful or powerful, make others actors to follow what you want or say, work on your interest. Great book. Just to mention one incident: Late King Birendra proposal to make Nepal 'Zone of peace' in world could have massively strengthen our soft power but beacuse of Indian rejection which was followed by USSR( because of their strong ties) Birendra vision was incomplete. Back then, if his vision was approved by India then Nepal surely would be in higher status in Global arena.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Стефан Георгиев

    I expected more from the author,given the fact that he is a professor and coined the phrase. The content of the book is very shallow, it's meant for the wider audience so as to give a short description of the phrase "soft power". If you are not interested in international geopolitics and just curious what soft power means I highly recommend you read the book. But if you are really into politics, history, geopolitics, I wouldn't recommend the book. I like the fact that Joseph Nye is critical towar I expected more from the author,given the fact that he is a professor and coined the phrase. The content of the book is very shallow, it's meant for the wider audience so as to give a short description of the phrase "soft power". If you are not interested in international geopolitics and just curious what soft power means I highly recommend you read the book. But if you are really into politics, history, geopolitics, I wouldn't recommend the book. I like the fact that Joseph Nye is critical towards US intervention in Iraq in the book and gives hints towards certain tendencies.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Diayla Rosa

    The concept of soft power is very important in contemporary international relations and although the book may be rather redundant, as many have already stated, it is a quick read. In the end you are sure to have understood the term exactly as proposed by its inventor who does not only makes clear what soft-power is, but more importantly, all that it is not.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mario

    In this book, Nye makes the case for why soft power (which Nye defines as a country's cultural products, its domestic character, and its foreign policies) is a useful tool for getting other nations voluntarily do what a country wants. I don't agree with every point Nye makes, but I do agree with his main point, that soft power is an underutilized and valuable tool in the foreign policy toolkit. In this book, Nye makes the case for why soft power (which Nye defines as a country's cultural products, its domestic character, and its foreign policies) is a useful tool for getting other nations voluntarily do what a country wants. I don't agree with every point Nye makes, but I do agree with his main point, that soft power is an underutilized and valuable tool in the foreign policy toolkit.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ricardo

    Nowadays, under this wave of nationalism, this books is more necessary than ever before. It's incredible how we can appreciate Joseph Nye's views' validity in the way how politicians are erring doing exactly the opposite. Nowadays, under this wave of nationalism, this books is more necessary than ever before. It's incredible how we can appreciate Joseph Nye's views' validity in the way how politicians are erring doing exactly the opposite.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ali Mousavi

    As an Iranian it had so much to me. Our government has many conflicts with the US and I can percept the idea of soft power so well. Islamic Republic is doing many of these policies around the region under cover. This book will give you a more clear vision over politics.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nina

    Could have been an article. The focus on the Iraq War feels a bit dated, but would love to see Nye do an updated version for the Trump administration. I imagine the book would just be filled with expletives and exclamation points.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Abdulrahman W.

    Big like Great book, Its one of the best and simple book with clear historical information, I really liked it and recommend it for everyone, It gave me a clear vision about what happened in the last 20-30 years in the world

  23. 4 out of 5

    dia

    dnf 31% i was like, yeah this concept is important for my studies so i guess i'll read it... the idea of soft power is interesting but the book itself is ridiculously American and also very much a product of its time and it didn't age very well. i'm too tired for this dnf 31% i was like, yeah this concept is important for my studies so i guess i'll read it... the idea of soft power is interesting but the book itself is ridiculously American and also very much a product of its time and it didn't age very well. i'm too tired for this

  24. 5 out of 5

    Viktor

    This books goal is to explain the concept of soft power, and it does but it's still not much of a book. I liked some parts, but a lot of the book is kind of outdated as it focuses mainly on the current events at the books time of publication This books goal is to explain the concept of soft power, and it does but it's still not much of a book. I liked some parts, but a lot of the book is kind of outdated as it focuses mainly on the current events at the books time of publication

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ji

    Great book! I wish it was a bit more detailed, but it illustrated the effect of soft power on the international stage. Interesting, although a bit hypothetical.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Muhammad Murad

    It's silly that I read Soft Power in an era of sharp power. However, it was a good read. It's silly that I read Soft Power in an era of sharp power. However, it was a good read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Muhemed Masika

    Inside you is soft but yet you feel it's power Inside you is soft but yet you feel it's power

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jason Knoll

    The book is fifteen years old, but the message is relevant more than ever, due to the negative impact of the Trump administration on US standing in the world.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Puwa

    Do you want to become a leader?

  30. 4 out of 5

    Liquidlasagna

    If you do not have Hard Power to back up 'soft power' you don't get very far with your objectives If you do not have Hard Power to back up 'soft power' you don't get very far with your objectives

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