Understanding soft power through public diplomacy in contrasting polities

Authored by: Efe Sevin

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


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This chapter uses the contemporary public diplomacy practice, within and outside the western world, to expand the discussions on the concept of soft power. The concept’s well-known definition provided by Joseph Nye – the ability to get what one wants through attraction – is deceptively straightforward and presents a single understanding of how soft power works. In the definitions provided by Nye, soft power assumptions are based in reference to specific foreign policy needs, domestic policy culture and practices of the United States. In current international politics, soft power is embraced by a number of countries that do not necessarily share the same assumptions.

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