Soft Power and US Foreign Policy: Theoretical, Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Soft Power and US Foreign Policy

Theoretical, Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, 1st Edition

Edited by Inderjeet Parmar, Michael Cox


256 pages

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Paperback: 9780415492041
pub: 2010-03-03
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pub: 2010-02-26
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pub: 2010-03-12
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The rise of widespread negative attitudes towards US foreign policy, especially due to the war of aggression against Iraq and the subsequent military occupation of the country – has brought new attention to the meaning and instruments of soft power. In this edited collection, an outstanding line up of contributors provides the most extensive discussion of soft power to date. Soft power is the use of attraction and persuasion rather than the use of coercion or force in foreign policy. It arises from the attractiveness of a country's culture, political ideals and policies, whereas hard power develops out of a country's military or economic might.

Soft Power has become part of popular political discourse since it was coined by Harvard’s Joseph Nye, and this volume features a brand new chapter by Nye outlining his views on soft, hard and smart power and offers a critique of the Bush administration’s inadequacies. He then goes on to examine the challenges for the incoming US president. The other contributions to the volume respond to Nye's views from a range of theoretical, historical and policy perspectives giving new insights in to both soft power and the concept of power itself.

This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of this key concept in foreign affairs and is essential reading for scholars of US foreign policy, public diplomacy, international relations and foreign policy analysis.


"The volume delivers on what it sets out to do, that is to offer the most comprehensive and up-to-date discussion of the ubiquitous concepts of hard, soft and smart power." - The International Spectator, Vol. 45, No. 4, December 2010, 104–106

'…the most exhaustive analysis available to date on soft power and its application to the theory and practice of power and foreign policy.' - The International Spectator, Volume 45, Issue 4, 2010, 106

Table of Contents

Introduction Inderjeet Parmar and Michael Cox 1. The Future of Soft Power in US Foreign Policy Joseph Nye Jr. 2. From Hegemony to Soft Power Geraldo Zahran and Leonardo Ramos 3. Soft Power and Strategy:Developing a 'Strategic' Concept of Power Edward Lock 4. The Unbearable Lightness of Soft Power Christopher Layne 5. The Power Game, Soft Power and the International Historian Till Geiger 6. Challenging Elite Anti-Americanism in the Cold War Inderjeet Parmar 7. Technological Leadership and American Soft Power John Krige 8. The Military Use of Soft Power - Information Campaigns: The Challenge of Application, Their Audiences and Effects Angus Taverner 9. Public Diplomacy and the Information War on Terror Philip Taylor 10. Soft Power in an Era of US Decline Giles Scott-Smith 11. Cheques and Balances: the EU's Soft Power Strategey Christopher Hill 12. The Myth and Reality of China's Soft Power Shogo Suzuki 13. Responding to my Critics and Concluding Thoughts Joseph Nye

About the Editors

Inderjeet Parmar is Professor of Government and Head of the Department of Politics, University of Manchester, UK. He has published several monographs and is the co-editor of the Routledge Studies in US Foreign Policy series.

Michael Cox is Professor in the International Relations Department at LSE, UK. He is the author of numerous books and has edited several of the leading journals in international relations.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in US Foreign Policy

This new series sets out to publish high quality works by leading and emerging scholars critically engaging with United States Foreign Policy. The series welcomes a variety of approaches to the subject and draws on scholarship from international relations, security studies, international political economy, foreign policy analysis and contemporary international history.

Subjects covered include the role of administrations and institutions, the media, think tanks, ideologues and intellectuals, elites, transnational corporations, public opinion, and pressure groups in shaping foreign policy, US relations with individual nations, with global regions and global institutions and America’s evolving strategic and military policies.

The series aims to provide a range of books – from individual research monographs and edited collections to textbooks and supplemental reading for scholars, researchers, policy analysts, and students.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General