- Taschenbuch: 208 Seiten
- Verlag: PublicAffairs; Auflage: New Ed (27. April 2005)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1586483064
- ISBN-13: 978-1586483067
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 1,9 x 13,3 x 20,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 117.770 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Soft Power: The Means To Success In World Politics (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 27. April 2005
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"One of America's foremost experts on foreign policy delivers his "indispensable" guide to reshaping America's role in the world (Publishers Weekly)"
Joseph Nye coined the phrase 'soft power' to describe a nation's ability to attract and persuade. Whereas hard power - the ability to coerce - grows out of a country's military or economic might, soft power arises from the attractiveness of its culture, political ideals and policies. Hard power remains crucial in a world of states trying to guard their independence and of non-state groups willing to turn to violence. But as a new administration - whether Republican or Democrat - maps out its foreign policy, Nye emphasizes the importance of husbanding our military power and nurturing our soft power. It is soft power that will help prevent terrorists from recruiting supporters from among the moderate majority. And it is soft power that will help the United States deal with critical global issues that require multilateral cooperation.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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In diesem Buch(Mehr dazu)
In seinem Buch unterscheidet Nye zwischen "hard power" (Militaer und Wirtschaft) und "soft power" (Kultur/Werte, Institutionen und Politik). Das eine System der Machtausuebung beruht auf Druck und Zwang (Peitsche), das andere dagegen auf Kooptation (Zuckerbrot).
Das Buch umfasst knapp 200 gut lesbare, unterhaltsame Seiten, zusammengefasst in 5 fuenf Kapiteln. Hinsichtlich seines Lesewertes bleibt das Buch jedoch hinter "The Paradox of American Power" zurueck, weil es keine neuen Argumente liefert und nur die theoretische Unterfuetterung von Nyes bisherigen Ausfuehrungen darstellt.
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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. The Department of State has chosen to be ineffective and ignorant in this area of collecting, translating, and interpreting to the American public all that we need to know about the real world, and if and when Colin Powell goes to the World Bank, which has transformed itself into a knowledge organization (see Stephen Denning, World Bank KM manager before he became world-famous story-teller, "The Springboard: How Storytelling Ignites Action in Knowledge-Era Organizations", he is going to rue the day he failed to kick off a $125M budget for OSINT under State control.
Third, the book lacks substance in the sense of effective examples. A simple illustration: $100M can buy a Navy ship of war or an Army brigade with tanks and artillery (two forms of hard power) or it can buy 1,000 diplomats or 10,000 Peace Corps volunteers or a water desalination plant capable of distilling 100M cubic meters of fresh water a year (three forms of soft power), or it can buy one day of war over water (the typical failure cost of hard power).
The book has exactly one paragraph on corporate misbehavior, which as William Greider has documented in "The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy", is the most evil and destructive form of "soft power." This is a severe oversight.
The book neglects foreign aid in a strategic context, and shows no appreciation for open spectrum, open source software, and open source intelligence, the triad of the new global open society. There is no hint of how a Digital Marshall Plan might be the most powerful "soft power" device every conceived.
The book neglects non-governmental organizations, with no mention of the organizations that are giving soft power a whole new dimension today (the European Centre for Conflict Prevention or ECCP, for example) and the book makes no mention of the "good" side of religious activism, the soft power so ably articulated by Dr. Doug Johnson in his two seminal works on faith-based diplomacy and religion as the missing dimension in statecraft.
Finally, while the book makes useful reference to some Pew polls on global attitudes, they struck me more as space fillers than core reference material--four pages where one would do--and do not reflect the more valued-based and multi-dimensional near-real-time direct citizen surveying such as characterizes the next generation of surveying instruments (e.g. Zarca Interactive, whose DC area chief describes it as a tool for real time democracy).
This leads to my last comment: this book, perhaps deliberately so, but I suspect not, is out of touch with mainstream scholarship such as the last 50 books I have reviewed for Amazon. It is one massive "Op-Ed", and its sources are virtually all "Op-Eds" (a number of them not written by the purported authors), with the result that this book gets an A for a good idea and a C-, at best, for scholarship. One simple example: the sum total of the author's references on "virtual communities", one of the most important ideas of this century, is one Op-Ed from the Baltimore Sun. There is no mention of the book by the same title written by Howard Rheingold, arguably the most talented chronicler in America if not the world of how this non-state communitas is changing the world.
Joe Nye has my vote as the new voice of reason within the Democratic circles, but he needs to be balanced by the Jonathan Schell, William Greider, Herman Daly, Paul Ray, and other European and Asian scholars. The world has gotten too complicated to be addressed by Op-Eds out of Harvard. It is time we got serious about harnessing the distributed intelligence of the Whole Earth, and we can start right here at Amazon, where most of the books not cited by this book have been reviewed by many people whose views, in the aggregate, are vastly more informed than the views of either the White House or its intelligence purveyors.
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.
Throughout the book, Nye reinforces that the overarching goal for America to effectively enact and establish its policies is to make the ideals of the United States as attractive as possible to the rest of the world. Though this extraordinary aim might be hailed as unrealistic, at worst, or as idealistic and Jeffersonian, at best, Nye contends, notwithstanding, that this intention is being panned because opponents misread it as appearing too soft. He subsequently reaffirms that the spread of any ideal is not often dependent upon hard or soft power, exclusively, but the proper melding of the two.
To support why soft power is so important, Nye states that it can be used in capacities that hard power cannot and identifies tools in which it can be put into effect. For example, broadcast capabilities and the internet can enhance communication strategies to spread democratic sentiments to other parts of the world. Also, soft power can be an aid in establishing peaceful relations among countries; for instance, programs established to send civilians such as doctors, teachers, and entertainers abroad to provide the types of services that other nations are seeking are powerful, positive overtures for democracy.
Intermittently, Nye states that the effective use of hard and soft power will come to fruition if the goals are properly stated. He cites instances of key shortcomings, the most recent of which pertains to the War in Iraq. Though the United States is criticized from an international perspective for going into war without U.N. consent, Nye states that on the domestic front, there was no solidarity on why the U.S. troops had to engage in combat. He blames this lack of cohesion on the Bush team, who used a wide variety of themes that appealed to so many different groups to the degree that no unifying consensus was ever reached.
Not only does Nye criticize the Bush White House for not properly enforcing hard and soft power, he also places a notable burden of responsibility on the Clinton administration. Nye highlights that a critical mistake that weakened U.S. soft power was the decision of Clinton and Congress to cut budgets and staff for cultural diplomacy and exchanges by almost thirty percent after 1993. How might this be regarded as weakening? Nye points out that knowledge is power and by failing to maintain closer lines of communication with the states concerned, we reduce our ability to select relevant themes and modify our short-term and long-term goals so as to establish and maintain stable relations.
Soft Power, overall, is a very interesting read that cites themes that argue how our U.S. government needs to invest more of its budget in the State Department in order to exercise not just hard or soft power, but smart power. For those interested in other types of power mentioned in war and politics that are synonymous with, if not identical to, hard power and soft power, another interesting book about power is Steven Brams? Theory of Moves. Brams does not use the words hard power and soft power; instead, he applies the terms threat power and moving power, both of which run on a respective, game theory parallel to the aforementioned.
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).
Of particular relevance for the current moment is the data he provides on the costly erosion in soft power that the war on terror and the invasion of Iraq have created for the United States. People still like the United States outside of the U.S. but most of them don't trust us any more . . . and they like us a lot less than they did two years ago. They often don't feel that we ever consider their interests. The problem is most severe in the Muslim world. Dean Nye points out that these problems are as bad as they were at the worst of the Vietnam quagmire, but that we can recover. He argues persuasively for reinstating more people-to-people contacts, operating from democratic principles in dealing with all other countries, developing alliances and consensus before taking military and economic action, and sharing all parts of our culture with the citizens of other countries through "open" exchanges.
Those who are appalled by the Iraq war will be very attracted by this book. It provides concrete suggestions to the alternative of just working with the United Nations when problems arise and hoping that all will be well. Those who think we did the right thing with our invasion will hate this book a lot.
Regardless of your stance on Iraq, I hope that both presidential candidates will heed the lessons of this book. We've gotten away from what helped us be successful in the Cold War. Those lessons need to be reapplied today to meet the new global challenges.
The concept of soft power is not very wide-ranging, and this subject matter would be presented better in a short but hard-hitting journal article. And while this book only has 147 pages of text, it still feels padded with flimsy examples and repetitive explanations of the basic concept. Nye has a particular problem with formulating believable examples to support his argument. For instance, the fact that AIDS originated in Africa and SARS originated in Asia is used as evidence that America is not dominant in globalization (yes you read that correctly), and pop culture items are supposedly filled with "subliminal" messages about American lifestyles (Nye may have meant "subtle"). Another problem with this book is that quantities of cultural and political accomplishments are often used in arguments about the quality of soft power exercised by America and other nations. And finally, Nye is capable of far more in-depth analysis on current events than the rather shallow punditry that he has written here. [~doomsdayer520~]
Nye's approach is not merely diplomacy, although diplomacy may play a part in it (just as diplomacy may play a part in 'hard power'). So to say, as a previous reviewer did, that diplomacy might not "work" misses the point of Nye's thesis.
In all cases "power" is the projection of a particular viewpoint. It is the means of that projection that Nye wants us to consider.
Nye argues here for a balance between 'soft' methods, such as using multilateralism, cultural connections, economic persuasion through prosperity, etc., and the 'hard' methods of direct military and economic action. Nye presents a case that this sort of balance is more effective in producing long-term willing partners than are unilateralist 'hard' methods alone - which he asserts tend to coerce a begrudging short-term obedience rather than alter the will of the target.
Whether you agree or disagree that this is a formula for success, there is no doubt that as an approach it is different from the current adminstration, which has been notably unsuccessful in its projection of American power.
In addition to presenting a simplified version of these principles, this book also contains specific criticisms of the approach of the current administration, as well as an implicit criticism of the whole 'neo-conservative' agenda. This is probably the reason for the appearance of the book at this time.
As I mentioned, "Soft Power" presents in some respects a simplification of a more nuanced system of international relations. Nye's system is presented by him in more detail in his previous book, "The Paradox of American Power", which I strongly recommend to anyone who wants to go into greater depth on this subject.