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Soft and Hard Power in International Relations

By Miaumrau Apr 14, 2013 657 Words
Today I would like to present something about diplomacy. I’ll be talking about soft power and hard power in international relations. Who created those terms and how they are implemented in foreign policy. Diplomacy in the XXI century it’s absolutely different than in the past but since then it has influence on foreign policy. Today we have new technologies and lots example to communicate with every embassy. States have the ability to react fast and they can quickly send new instruction to ambassadors, ministers and envoys what they should to be consistent with national interest. Most important in these relations is to adjust state policy to preserve international order. One way of keeping order is the usage of Cultural Diplomacy. A starting definition of culture is offered by the American political scientist and author, Milton C. Cummings, in his description of cultural diplomacy as: “the exchange of ideas, information, values, systems, traditions, beliefs, and other aspects of culture, with the intention of fostering mutual understanding”. The creator of the distinction between soft and hard power in the activities of states in the international arena is an American international relations theorist Joseph Nye. So could you try to tell me what is soft power, what makes soft power soft?? soft power - a new peaceful instrument of diplomacy "Soft power uses - - - an attraction to shared values and the justness and duty of contributing to the achievement of those values." It’s the ability to get what you want by attracting and persuading others to adopt your goals. The term is now widely used in international affairs by analysts and statesmen. For example in 2010 Annette Lu, former vice-president of the Republic of China on Taiwan, visited South Korea and used soft power as a model for the resolution of international conflict. Moreover the success of soft power heavily depends on the actor’s reputation within the international community, as well as the flow of information between actors. Thus, soft power is often associated with the rise of globalization and neoliberal international relations theory. Popular culture and mass media is regularly identified as a source of soft power, as is the spread of a national language, or a particular set of normative structures.

Another term created by J. Ney is hard power.
Hard power is a term describing political power obtained from the use of military and/or economic coercion to influence the behavior or interests of other political bodies. As the name would suggest, this form of political power is often aggressive, and is most effective when imposed by one political body upon another of lesser military and/or economic power. Hegemon countries use hard power most often like the USA. Hard Power describes a nation's ability to coerce or induce another nation to perform a course of action. This can be done through military power which consists of coercive diplomacy, war and alliance using threats and force with the aim of coercion, deterrence and protection. Alternatively economic power which relies on aid, bribes and economic sanctions can be used in order to induce and coerce.

While the term 'hard power' generally refers to diplomacy, it can also be used to describe forms of negotiation which involve pressure or threats as a method of influence. In summary we can say that it is not always possible to use force in diplomacy. Sometimes it is better to start with negotiations and discussions, because they are always cheaper than waging war. But when all peaceful methods fail there is no other way then to start war. In this topic I have 4 questions for you

1) Diplomacy is dynamic - do you agree which this sentence and why? 2) What is your approach towards polish diplomacy, we use soft or hard power in foreign policy? Can you give an example? 3) My question is possible to use only soft power in global system? 4) Finally how would you describe a good diplomat?

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