45. Soft Power in International Relations

22 Oct

Soft Power in International Relations

1. In order to achieve more effective efforts abroad, the decision centres of various states now analyse and implement new actions under the so-called Soft Power to achieve their foreign policy objectives.

2. In the field of international relations, Soft Power is an innovative concept which aims to raise awareness of the political dimension through cultural actions. In the international arena Soft Power is rooted largely in a country’s values expressed through its culture in handling its relations with other states. For example, after being defeated in the Franco-Prussian War, France attempted to restore his reputation by promoting its language and its literature through the Alliance Française, founded in 1883. Accordingly, the projection of French culture abroad became an important component of diplomacy in that country.

3. Today, with the progress of the processes of economic and technological globalization, international relations will depend ever more intensely on culture, (or Soft Power) and economic power rather than military force.

4. Although both Hard Power (political, economic and military action) and Soft Power are necessary instruments to conduct the foreign policy interests of one country, the exercise of attraction (Soft Power) is much cheaper than coercion, and above all is of a higher value.

5. The development of Soft Power increases the competitiveness of a country in this age of information, since it means that the country possesses a culture and values adapted to the prevailing global norms. This development also demands greater access to information and communication flows, greater influence in the drafting process, and knowledge and credibility in the conduct of domestic and international affairs.

6. Today, cultural diplomacy in the exercise of public diplomacy is to act as “facilitator” with respect to Soft Power through enhancing the capabilities of persuasive speech and using it with the appropriate technological resources. It provides a “living” resource to enhance the interaction between the embassy and the general public and is very influential in promoting the country at international events and in encouraging public policy funding for research centres, education, art, etc.

7. Soft Power often helps to prepare a “fertile ground” for good negotiation and can influence the preference of investors or the general public and potential buyers of a country’s products. As part of cultural diplomacy, it can play an important role to benefit the “country brand” strategy particularly by extending the effective distribution channels with a much lower financial cost than traditional advertising spaces.

8. For a State with little coercive power and scarce resources for use as “rewards,” the construction of its image internationally is done through the action of Soft Power. The deepening of the efforts for external cultural diffusion brings significant benefits not only as regards the country’s image but also in the field of economics, its internal and external cultural identity, its versatility to maintain contact channels even in the context of conflicting or controversial relations, and also in its contributions to cultural diversity and international peace.

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