1st Edition

Alternative Paths to Influence Soft Power and International Politics

Edited By Giulio M. Gallarotti Copyright 2023

    This book offers new and cutting-edge analyses of under-explored subjects and issues in the realm of soft power. It attempts to fill significant scholarly gaps in understanding the process by which soft power is created, as well as gaps in demonstrating its impact.

    Soft power is one of the most influential ideas in the study of international politics over the past thirty years. Can nations attain their most vital foreign policy objectives in agreeable ways? Advocates of the concept of soft power have vociferously answered in the affirmative. After many years of thinking in the field of international affairs that the only effective path to influence in international politics was military and economic power, the idea of soft power offers new and exciting possibilities of gaining such influence through a more benign path, one that elevates cooperation and esteem as preferred alternatives to violence, threat and military capacity. This book posits that the realization of the full potential of soft power as a foundation for international relations is a crucial goal for our present world, one beset by war and planetary crises.

    The book will be of special interest to researchers across political science, international relations, cultural studies and foreign policy. It was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Political Power.

    Introduction—Esteem and influence: soft power in international politics

    Giulio M. Gallarotti

    1. The crisis of American soft power

    David W. Kearn

    2. The Smithsonian’s soft power: how foreigners engage the US national museum

    Irene S. Wu

    3. Soft power’s dark side

    Renée Marlin-Bennett

    4. From circulating liberalism to tech nationalism: U.S. soft power and Silicon Valley

    Burcu Baykurt

    5. The impact of Russian soft power in Kazakhstan: creating an enabling environment for cooperation between Nur-Sultan and Moscow

    Victoria Hudson

    6. Pedagogical offensives: soft power, higher education and foreign policy

    Giulio M. Gallarotti

    7. Impact of environmental quality indicators on soft power: a few empirical estimates

    Sergio R. Vale and Moises S. Marques

    8. Testing the impact of geopolitics on European democratic countries’ soft power use

    Judit Trunkos

    9. In search of soft power: mapping the expert community with a bibliometric network analysis

    Alina V. Vladimirova


    Giulio M. Gallarotti is Professor of Government and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University, Middletown, USA, and Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, New York City, USA. He is Chairman of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) Research Committee on Political Power (RC 36) and editor of the book series on Social and Political Power at Manchester University Press, UK.

    “Power is one of the most contested concepts in social science. Giulio Gallarotti has again served the field well by assembling and editing a set of first rate essays on the role of soft power in international politics.”
    Joseph Nye, Harvard University, USA

    "This compelling book brings the multifaceted and spirited expertise of its collaborators to capturing the uses and abuses of soft power from the perspective of the geopolitics of the New Cold War."
    Victoria de Grazia, Columbia University, USA