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“Are You Pondering What I Am Pondering?” Understanding the Conditions Under Which States Gain and Loose Soft Power

  • Gitika CommuriEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Global Power Shift book series (GLOBAL)

Abstract

Given the ubiquity of the term ‘soft power’ it is clear that the concept represents, without doubt, one of the key elements of international relations. The strength of the concept lies in the fact that it allows theorists and practitioners to think about power in more complex and dynamic ways – at least in ways more complex than some Realist assertions of hard power. And yet the manner and conditions under which soft power is manifested makes it one of the most nebulous and ambiguous concepts within the field of International Relations [IR], granted that the field of IR is rife with ambiguous concepts. Even though the concept is frequently used, the fact is that it is one of those terms that defy generalization – one of the elements of theory building. Scholars are puzzled by the processes through which soft power unfolds and its impact on bringing about the desired policy change. Intuitively we understand that soft power must exist and yet our attempts to grasp it leave us with some clarity but much confusion as well.

Keywords

International Relation International System Moral Authority Soft Power Ambiguous Concept 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to acknowledge the assistance of Robert Etcheverry in the preparation of this paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Sciences and Education, Department of Political ScienceCalifornia State UniversityBakersfieldUSA

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