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Soft Power: The Means To Success In World Politics Paperback – April 26, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
I do want to emphasize that this book is worth reading if you only have time for one book (or you could read all my reviews instead--they are free), because I am going to be severely critical of the book in a professional sense.
First, this book does not focus at all on the most important soft power of all, that of a strategic culture. Others have documented how North Vietnam whipped the United States, not with firepower, but with political will deeply rooted in a strategic culture that was superior to that of the United States of America.
Second, despite the author's earlier service as Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, the book gives cursory attention to intelligence reform, and does not mention, at all, open source intelligence (disclosure: my pet rock). It is especially weak in failing to point out that the Department of State's one chance to be effective within US politics and the US policy arena lies with its potential dominance of legally and ethically available information in 29+ languages.Read more ›
At the introduction, Mr. Nye acknowledges that hard power, through force, can be used to conquer one state or, at most, a few states in the name of fighting terrorism. However, he asserts that it, alone, cannot create an international cooperation of governments to hunt down every person who serves as a threat to world peace. This latter objective, Mr. Nye proclaims, can be met by merging the coercive presence of hard power with the persuasive influences of soft power and that this combination is an effective approach to forming a coalition of nations. To draw a bold line of distinction between hard power, by itself, and the union of hard and soft power, Joseph Nye quotes Newt Gingrich, who comments that the measuring rod of success is not how many enemies are killed but, instead, how many allies are gathered.Read more ›
Dean Nye originally coined the term "soft power" so he's a good person to develop the concept. He sees government power coming from three sources: Military power; economic power; and soft power. Military power is all bout coercion, deterrence and protection through threats and force. Government pursues this path through war, coercive diplomacy, and alliances. Economic power is the carrot and the stick enforced through payments and sanctions. Payments take the form of aid and bribes, and sanctions can be anything from boycotts to interdictions.
Soft power looks at the other hand from the gloved fist: Attraction and agenda setting. Countries use their values, culture, policies and institutions to make inroads as applied through various forms of diplomacy.
These themes are explored in the context of the Cold War, the policies of the Clinton and two Bush administrations, and the war on terror. In making his arguments, Dean Nye addresses philosophical arguments made by conservative and neo-conservative thinkers who favor the fist in all situations (including unilateral action), and provides examples of what has and has not worked.
Dean Nye's basic point is that a country should use both its hard and its soft power to obtain the best results. He analyzes what this means for the major countries in the world in specifics (the choices for Finland are a lot different than for the United States or Japan).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you study international relations or political science, or even have an interest in it, you absolutely have to read this! Read morePublished 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent read for better understanding the correlation in Senior Military Education and Training and Military Soft/Smart Power!Published 15 days ago by david Manning
...but someone should develop this idea and write proper book. Here many things are so absurd that do not waste time and read something else.Published 6 months ago by Ants
Ultra motormouth and ultra repeting the already said.The whole book can be writen in one page of A4 paper.Low quality & simplistic thinking...Published 9 months ago by E. P. Kourla
An excellent, comprehensive review of what the concept of "soft power" means in terms of national politics. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Claude Forthomme (Nougat)