“What is soft power? It is the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or payments.
It arises from the attractiveness of a country’s culture, political ideals, and policies.
Soft power as termed by Joseph Nye and explained by other others, is to basically persuade others to want what you want, to shape the preferences of others through attraction rather than coercion; cultural values and policies are the tools of soft power.
The United States of America, after emerging one of the world powers in World War II, entered the Cold War era using successful soft and hard power policies to become the emerging super power but since then, we see a constant decline in the perception of the US as a soft power leader.
With the end of the Cold War, soft power seemed expendable, and Americans became more interested in saving money than in investing in soft power.
Between 1989 and 1999, the budget of the United States Information Agency (USIA) decreased by 10%.
Post 9/11 attacks, USA realised that this is the modern world of information and good public diplomacy is an integral part of internal security.
Soft policies those were implemented by US also failed as we can see the current situation in the world and the hatred of US in the Muslim world giving rise to agency’s like Al- Qaeda.
Even though USA is still the strongest power in the world, it now again faces limitations due to poor public democracy.
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United." Affiliated with Georgetown University for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."