In The Future of Power by Joseph S.
Nye hestates that “There is no contradiction between realism and soft power. Softpower is not a form of idealism or liberalism. It is simply a form of power,one way of getting desired outcomes.” 1 Withsoft power, the best way to use this power would be to attract or persuadeother states by changing their preferences, and sometimes their culturalvalues. Nye also defines soft power, “as the ability to get others to want whatyou want.
“2However, Nye elaborates that soft power has, “the ability to attract, andattraction often leads to acquiescence.”3 The word acquiescence means to accept, comply, orsubmit tacitly or passively. Therefore, “accept” can be included in thedefinition.
However, the problem with the word “accept” in the sense that nothingcan be done to change an unpleasant fact and so the state(s) must accept it orthey will have to accept the said fact reluctantly. Thus, the statement softpower has the capability to get other state(s) to want, or accept, what theinitial state wants can be a beneficial explanation of soft power.Nyealso states that, “soft power is a descriptive, rather than a normative,concept. Like any form of power, it can be wielded for good or bad purposes.”4 Softpower in relations to it being defined as “accepting what the other state wantsthem to accept” could be explained with the reign of authoritarian leaders, likeHitler. “The 1930s, for example, witnessed intensive culturalexchanges between fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Although these efforts wereshaped by the ideology of their respective regimes, they also built onpre-fascist traditions of cultural diplomacy.”5 Alongwith Hitler’s hostile and his imperialist foreign policies, Mussolini of Italyand other totalitarian state(s) like Stalin of USSR not only used culture, but alsoscience and arts to achieve their diplomatic goals.
1Joseph S. Nye The Future of Power (New York:PublicAffairs), 2011 p. 82.2 Vuving, A.L. (2009). How Soft Power Works. “Paperpresented at the panel “Soft Power and Smart Power,” American Political ScienceAssociation annual meeting, Toronto, September 3, 2009,” p.
5-6.3 Joseph S. Nye, The Paradox ofAmerican Power: Why the World’s Only Superpower Can’t Go It Alone (New York:Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 9.4 Nye, The Future of Power, 81.
5 David Brydan PostdoctoralResearcher, Birkbeck University of London. “Hard right, soft power: fascistregimes and the battle for hearts and minds.” The Conversation. September 29,2016, Accessed January 30, 2018http://theconversation.com/hard-right-soft-power-fascist-regimes-and-the-battle-for-hearts-and-minds-65683