Introduction

Authored by: Naren Chitty

The Routledge Handbook of Soft Power

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138945814
eBook ISBN: 9781315671185
Adobe ISBN: 9781317369370

10.4324/9781315671185.ch101

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Abstract

If soft power represents a political theory of attractiveness, the term itself appeals to some and not others. Soft power, as a term, is a cultural artefact that represents a body of thought that is associated with resources invested in attraction-power as well as with strategies for using such resources to further actors’ interests. Like many cultural artefacts, soft power has had a mixed reception, especially in academia. It has become popular currency for many foreign ministries, universities and think tanks across the world, though the nature of government, corporate, civil society and media interest may vary with country and context. Governments are naturally interested in drawing this area into their foreign policy frameworks and express interest, understandably, in the measurement of effects to justify expenditure. Effects in the hard sense of so many bucks producing so much soft bang are tantalizingly difficult to prove.

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