According to Nye (2004.p1) “power is the ability to influence the behavior of others to get the outcomes one wants”. The concept of soft power has its origin in the late 1980s by Joseph Nye Jr. Soft power is defined as the ability to attract and persuade others thereby shaping their preferences and making them do what you want. Hard power is the ability to make others what you want through inducement (Nye, 1990). On the one hand, it is argued that in many cases soft power works rather than hard power since it helps to get the desired outcomes without threats or force (Nye, 2004). Rather, it makes others do what we want through co-opting them.On the other hand, critics argue that imitation or attraction does not always necessarily lead to desirable outcomes(Cooper,2004).Four different definitions of power are given by Barrett et al(2001).These are the power inherent in an individual itself, ability to make others do what one wants, ability to control the contexts of people’s interaction and structural power. In general, power can hence be defined as a kind of ability to influence or control others to make them what we want based on all these definitions. This influence is obtained either through inducement, which is defined as hard power or through attracting others or shaping others preferences, which is defined as soft power. Hard power is often associated with military and economic strength while soft power is associated with the attractiveness of culture, institutions and information technologies (Windsor, 2000).6. Though economic strength is associated to hard power, it can be argued that economic wealth can also be used to attract others to get desired outcomes. Hence, it can be linked to soft power too. According to one viewpoint, only hard power gives US the powerful status (Cooper,2004)7 while the other viewpoint gives equal credit to soft power, which has worked well there (Fukuyama,2007)8. Moreover, the soft power index developed by Chicago Council obtains the soft power in US as high (USAPC Washington Report, 2008)9. The next sections critically evaluate this issue for US by examining the various dimensions of soft power in US
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The essay "The US and Economic Development" explores if the US is well equipped to meet the challenges and opportunities that soft power presents and if it well equipped to influence other nations with the use of it’s soft powerd military…
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