Soft Power: The Origins and Political Progress of a Concept

3 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2017

See all articles by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: February 2017

Abstract

Power is the ability to affect others to get the outcomes one prefers, and that can be accomplished by coercion, payment, or attraction and persuasion. Soft power is the ability to obtain preferred outcomes by attraction rather than coercion or payment. This anecdotal comment recounts the origins of the concept as an analytical tool, and its gradual development as an instrumental concept used in political discourse in Europe, China and the United States. This article is published as part of a collection on soft power.

Suggested Citation

Nye, Joseph S., Soft Power: The Origins and Political Progress of a Concept (February 2017). Palgrave Communications, Vol. 3, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2942713 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/palcomms.2017.8

Joseph S. Nye (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-4537 (Phone)
617-495-1122 (Fax)

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