'Soft Power'

Updated: Dec 1, 2020



This extract is taken from an article titled ‘The Benefits of Soft Power’ written by Joseph S. Nye Jr and published 8 February 2004.



The text has been localised with attention to dialectal features of punctuation.


Localised Extract


Hard power can rest on inducements (‘carrots’) or threats (‘sticks’). But sometimes you can get the outcomes you want without tangible threats or payoffs. The indirect way to get what you want has sometimes been called ‘the second face of power’. A country may obtain the outcomes it wants in world politics because other countries admire its values, emulate its example, aspire to its level of prosperity and openness. This soft power – getting others to want the outcomes that you want – co-opts people rather than coerces them.




Original Extract

Hard power can rest on inducements ("carrots") or threats ("sticks"). But sometimes you can get the outcomes you want without tangible threats or payoffs. The indirect way to get what you want has sometimes been called "the second face of power." A country may obtain the outcomes it wants in world politics because other countries admire its values, emulate its example, aspire to its level of prosperity and openness. This soft power—getting others to want the outcomes that you want—co-opts people rather than coerces them.

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