A Systemization of the Best Soft Power Practices
International Organisations Research Journal (IORJ), 2014. Vol. 9. No. 2
Posted: 24 Nov 2015 Last revised: 27 Nov 2015
Date Written: May 1, 2014
Foreign policy uses a wide range of soft power policy instruments and models. It is thus useful to identify the best practices, key tools and approaches that ensure the sustainability and coherence of policy, as well as the connecting elements that allow a country to coordinate its foreign policy actions.
This article analyzes the experience of China, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and the European Union in five areas: the promotion of language and culture; cooperation in the fields of education, science and technology; business relations; public diplomacy; and official development cooperation.
The article is based on the expert survey conducted by National Research University Higher School of Economics in December 2013. The sample includes experts of the international relations engaged in Russian foreign affairs, as well as development cooperation. The results of the expert survey allowed to identify the tools ensuring the most impact and best application of soft power in various socioeconomic and political conditions.
The identified tools are structured into a system of interconnected organizational forms with five areas or clusters of influence. Key institutions acting in the five areas constitute the centres of sustainability of the respective clusters. Structural cohesion is ensured by connecting elements such as regulatory frameworks, resources, coordination mechanisms, visa regimes, and communication and public relations.
Keywords: soft power; international development assistance; international science and education cooperation; business relations development; public diplomacy
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