Nye: The Role Of Soft Power In Foreign Policy

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The origin of soft power in foreign policy has been linked to the debate between scholars who claim that the U.S. global leadership is declining (declinist) and those who maintained that the U.S. is going through a modification of its foreign policy in the 1980s. The proponents of declining U.S. global powers (Leadership) such Paul Kennedy indicate that the decline of the US leadership role in the world is occasioned by the exhaustion the country is suffering due to increasing responsibility it has to carry as a global superpower, an argument structured within the lens of the decline of the English imperialism. The counter to this view was led by Nye who intimated that the claim by Kennedy does not reflect America’s stature as it claims, He…show more content…
It must be underscored that despite this significant corroboration, the confusion between hard power and soft power still rages on. Indeed, the inability of Nye to clearly identify the parameters of soft power affected its foundation as a potent challenge to the concept of hard power, hence the basis of the revision presented in Nye’s subsequent work. In these works, Nye sought to indicate that soft power does not exist as an alternative to hard power but rather a complement. As he underscored, “our view, and the collective view of this commission, is that the United States must become a smarter power by investing once again in the global good – providing things that people and governments in all quarters of the world want but cannot attain in the absence of American leadership. By complementing U.S. military and economic might with greater investments in its soft power, America can build the framework it needs to tackle tough global challenges” (Armitage & Nye, 2006). In fact, in his 2004 book, “Soft Power: the Means to Success in World Politics,” this point found significant expression…show more content…
attractiveness should not be so lightly dismissed. It is true that the United States has recovered from unpopular policies in the past (such as those regarding the Vietnam War), but that was often during the Cold War, when other countries still feared the Soviet Union as the greater evil. It is also true that the United States’ sheer size and associa¬tion with disruptive modernity make some resentment unavoidable today. But wise policies can reduce the antagonisms that these realities engender. Indeed, that is what Washington achieved after World War II: it used soft-power resources to draw others into a system of alliances and institutions that has lasted for 60 years. The Cold War was won with a strategy of containment that used soft power along with hard power (Nye,
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