The Future of Power

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Running Head: ANALYSIS OF JOSEPH NYE JUNIOR’S THE FUTURE OF POWER

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Analysis of Joseph Nye Junior’s The Future of Power Reflective Essay Metropolitan State University

Author Note This paper was prepared for World Politics 321-50 taught by Thomas Scott.

ANALYSIS OF JOSEPH NYE JUNIOR’S THE FUTURE OF POWER

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Abstract In the book The Future of Power, Joseph Nye Junior describes how global power is shifting from West to East and the implications this creates for the future of the United States. As China and other developing countries rise, the power and influence of the United States are sure to be effected. Nye describes the various levels and distribution of power such as military, economic and soft power and the historical effects of the use of these powers as they relate to the fall of previous empires such as Britain and Rome. As the sole superpower today, Nye describes how the history of power relates to the United States and how technology in the 21 century has provided extraordinary leverage to rising countries and non-state actors such as Al Qaeda. This analysis is intended to review the key issues Nye describes in the book, their impact on the United States and other regions, America’s use of power as it relates to foreign affairs and the strength and weaknesses of Nye’s arguments.

ANALYSIS OF JOSEPH NYE JUNIOR’S THE FUTURE OF POWER

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Analysis of Joseph Nye Junior’s The Future of Power Reflective Essay As the sole superpower, America has exercised significant power and global hegemony since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Over the last century, the United States has developed into an economic and military powerhouse through its democratic government, extensive resources and international diplomacy. However, the recent economic rise of countries like China and India, and tensions with the East have many people wondering how long the United States will maintain this global power and dominance. According to Joseph Nye Junior in his book The Future of Power, power ranges in a broad spectrum from hard power to soft power. Hard power is the use of coercion or force to reach a desired outcome. Soft power is the ability to affect others through co-optive means such as persuasion or attraction (Nye, 2011, p. 21). In addition to the spectrum of power, Nye states that power is essentially distributed among three levels which are military, economic and soft power. Nye considers military power “unipolar” as the United States is only nation with true global military reach. Economic power is “multipolar” because it is held by several countries like China, Japan and the European Union. Soft power is held by many countries and is influenced by a state’s culture, political values and foreign policies. Is American power in decline? As developing countries rise, Nye describes how global power is shifting from West to East and this shift creates implications for the future of the United States. Nye reveals several interesting insights to the challenges facing American power and this essay will review four topics that support his arguments and recommendations: 1. Specific issues that are important in the world today 2. The Impact these issues have on the United States and other regions

ANALYSIS OF JOSEPH NYE JUNIOR’S THE FUTURE OF POWER 3. The accuracy of Nye's portrayal of power and American foreign policy 4. Strengths and weaknesses of Nye’s argument Specific issues that are important in the world today Nye suggests five areas that America must address in order to be successful in the 21 st century. First, America must understand its strengths and limitations as developing countries rise to power. Second, an appropriate combination of hard power and soft power, known as “smart power” must be used when dealing with conflict. Third, as democracy spreads, America must provide security for itself and its allies and use care in maintaining a strong domestic and

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international economy and...
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