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Carrot or stick? What really works in diplomacy?,
This review is from: Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (Paperback)
This book is a very important analysis of soft power. Soft power is a loose term whereby a country improves its reputation and ability to persuade others by its actions and principles, rather than its overt and covert threats to bully others.
The author argues that power exists on three dimensions - military, economic and cultural. The author argues that America is the unrivalled master of "hard" power as the world's only military super power. But on the soft power dimensions of trade/economy and popular culture, America is nowhere near as all triumphant. The author feels that America must pay attention to developing its soft power if it is to remain dominant, and not have to rely on its hard power. Given the difficulties in Iraq, America more than ever needs to cultivate its soft power, which the author feels is well within America's capability.
There is also an interesting analysis of the history of soft power, such as when the USSR used ballet tours to promote Soviet/communist culture in the West, and America's use of jazz music on Radio Free Europe broadcasts into the Iron Curtain. The fact that soft power initiatives can sometimes have multiple and contradictory affects it also examined. For example, a Hollywood film in Iran may make young people like America more, but may make Iran's ruling mullahs hate it more.
All in all, this book is the definitive work on the subject of soft power. This is a must read for anyone interested in politics, current affairs or diplomacy.