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What Is Soft Power?

Soft Power Meaning

There is a relationship between hard and soft power. Both of them may be used to realize the objective of the behavior of others affecting nature. The tangibility of resources and the mode of their application are the primary determinants of the influence that either of them has on behavior. The power of command that eventually affects the course of action taken by others may either be achieved through inducement or coercion (Betts, 2015).


The attractiveness deduced from one’s policies, abilities, values, and culture would be an equivalent of attraction. As such, under the influence, others endeavor to achieve the same in light of the positive allure from a similar approach. A command that is exercised as a result of coercion hardly lasts, because the recipient is bound to rebel once more appealing options appear. A command emanating from the positive influence on others has the chance to last given the decision to be part of it is often voluntary. This paper intends to review the elements of soft power, to identify its benefits, and list the demerits of hard power.

The Primary Element of Soft Power

The primary element of soft power is the ability to shape the preference of others. Leadership is not only manifested in the form of giving commands and expecting them to be carried out. There is also the essence of leading by example. The stellar standards that are set in by soft power act as an allure for the follower countries to observe the benefits inherent to the method (Nye, 2011). The already tested policies are the benchmarks for the followers to follow the positive that is bound to unfold in the event of the decision made to emulate similar standards. Replicating the same methods would lead to the realization of the sought-after values.

The decision made voluntarily is the source of peaceful coexistence between the entangled countries. It is the outstanding examples set by the superior states that attract the others to desire to implement the same procedures. Therefore, instead of employing hard power to force the rest of the states to come to a given agreement, it would be beneficial to adopt the soft power approach. It will expedite the desired policies and benefit all of the participants. In such a case, there would be no need for force, but a mere mutual consent to try and come to a mutual agreement.

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Soft power is at the forefront of democratic leadership. The political values coupled with charisma are a direct implication that there will be many other states hoping to emulate the same methods that have yielded massive success. The majority of the states would want to team up and form joint policies to be used in the pursuit of victory (O’Connor, Savagatrup, & Lipomi, 2016). Decent policies from the already proven and practical examples are regarded as legitimate and bear moral authority. Hard power often destabilizes peace in the states given there is a compulsion that particular standards and policies must be adhered to. Such regulations are likely to lead to retaliation.

Soft power trounces hard power due to the attractiveness of the shared values and the justness that accompanies the achievement of these values. The assets in power are equivalent to acquiescence. The posterity of leadership comes from the developments that may be deduced from the current approaches at play. Positive influence is the best-suited approach in attaining results. There is more value attached to influencing others to desire to partake in similar activities as opposed to the decision to use force in compelling the states to abide by the set standards (Nye, 2009).

An Example of the Exercise of Soft Power

An example of the exercise of soft power is exhibited by the decision made by states to shift the primary goal of guaranteeing military security for the benefit of other aspects. In this case, the focus has shifted from national security to more vital economic and ecological factors. Most likely, the decision has been brought about by the limited threats from the military sphere. In Canada, there has been a decision to highlight the significance of economic stability more than the initial danger that had been perceived to come from military exposure (Nye, 1990).

Such a policy was enacted in light of a similar approach adopted by the United States. The only observation was the merit of economic stability, as witnessed in the U.S. It was sufficient to inform the decision made by the Canadian government to transform its primary objectives (O’Connor et al., 2016). The essence of soft power is also notable in the practice of communism in China. There was an ideological challenge to liberalism due to the fundamental contradictions emanating from it. The existence of communism, therefore, resulted in an alternative pole of ideological attraction that eventually ousted the threat posed by liberalism.

College Students Forum Response Conclusion

In conclusion, it may be fairly stated that there are more benefits to the use of soft power than the hard power. With soft power, a state only has to put its beliefs into practice. The advantages of the applied concepts would be sufficient to lure other states to desire to implement the same approach. Hard power entails imposing unfavorable policies on other countries, often with the primary objective of personal gain. The regulations that the smaller states are compelled to implement often benefit the enforcers. Therefore, the use of soft power instruments would make it possible to solve problems that would otherwise be impossible to address with hard power.

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