Definitions for soft power
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Political influence that is extended by means of diplomacy, international assistance, cultural exchanges, etc., rather than by such "hard" means as military intervention or punitive economic measures.
Soft power is a concept developed by Joseph Nye of Harvard University to describe the ability to attract and co-opt rather than coerce, use force or give money as a means of persuasion. Nye coined the term in a 1990 book, Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power. He further developed the concept in his 2004 book, Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics. The term is now widely used in international affairs by analysts and statesmen. For example, in 2007, CPC General Secretary Hu Jintao told the 17th Communist Party Congress that China needed to increase its soft power, and the US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke of the need to enhance American soft power by "a dramatic increase in spending on the civilian instruments of national security – diplomacy, strategic communications, foreign assistance, civic action and economic reconstruction and development." According to the IfG-Monocle Soft Power Index the United Kingdom currently holds the top spot in soft power thanks to a combination of international perception, global reach of British media, inventions like the world wide web and the Internet, architecture, international diplomacy, students seeking to study in the UK, cultural missions and the number of highly publicized international events held there.
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