The concept of soft power Joseph Nye proposed almost two decades ago has provided academics and policymakers with a tool through which to refer to sources of influence other than military force and economic payoffs. The notion of soft power captures the idea that assets less tangible than bombs or cheque books, such as culture and values, also act as power resources. In Nye’s own words, ‘When you can get others to admire your ideals and to want what you want, you do not have to spend as much on sticks and carrots to move them in your direction.’1 Since it was first introduced, the concept of soft power has arguably had impact on both analysts and practitioners of foreign policy.

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Actors in the policy world have employed the concept of soft...

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