The inventor of the term soft/smart power, Professor Joseph Nye of Harvard University, is back in the news with comments at Chatham House, UK, on how the fight against islamofascism is following the worldwide struggle against the evil twins nazism and communism.
The basic definition offered by Nye is:
‘Soft power’ works by the force of example, projecting the attractiveness of a nation’s way of life, values, culture, historical experience to gain consensus and legitimacy. Ideally it should deliver specific results in foreign policy, act as an instrument for ‘getting the outcomes you want’.
Now Nye prefers the term ‘smart power’, to express an idea of synthesis between the hard and soft versions that States may deploy in given situations. With muslim terrorists employing hard power in Syria and Iraq and Putin his version in eastern Ukraine it becomes more clear every day that hard power is back in geostrategy and the Democrats in the United States could well have to hand over to the GOP in 2016 when things get tough.
Today the experts think that the sources of power in the world are multiplying, and that force is only one of them. Soft power is more the influence of civilizational influence. There is nothing in the world compared to the civilizational influence of the West in the world. Western civilization is unique.