Understanding soft, hard, and smart powers

Power is the most effective and powerful instrument in the hands of states. It empowers state to influence or affects the decisions or will of others. But, the influencing capabilities depends on the nature of power the actor exercise. We know that the nature of power has drastically changed over time and space. In this blog, “understanding  soft, hard and smart powers” I will make you known about the nature, evolution and use of all these three forms of powers.

Types of power -Hard power

There are three types of powers in the Modern World and these are Hard power,  Soft power, and Smart power.

Hard power is more coercive than persuasive. It includes military, as well as economic, capacity of any nation.

The development of powerful weapons such as nuclear weapons, fighter aircrafts, submarines, aircraft carriers, and high tech state-of-arts radar detectors, are parts of hard power. Apart from this, economic might includes trade, economic sanctions, tarrifs, etc.

Hard power is often used as a last resort when all means fails.In the simple words, it is used for foreceful persuasion in favour user.Military actions, economic sanctions, tarrifs, etc. are the examples of hard powers.

Nowadays, it is rarely used because of the effective role of international organisations. Afghanistan war on terror, Sanctions against  Iran, are the better examples of use of hard power.

 Second type -Soft power or cultural diplomacy

Unlike hard power, it is more persuasive rather than coercive. It doesn’t involve active but passive influence.

It includes, trade concessions, economic and technological aid, developmental assistance, media, language and many more cultural things.

Soft power looks invisible, but it exerts greater influence than hard power. It takes longer duration to bear results.

It is often used to cultivate fertile ground to advance the interests of nation. In the age of democratization, its importance is more than hard power to safeguard national interests.

As an example,  the involvement of missionaries in the tribal areas of world to help them with medical and educational services is the best epitome of soft power. Indian efforts to popularize yoga is another example of soft power.

 Third is  the most important one  – Smart power To negotiate unconventional threats

Finally, it is the combination of both soft and hard power. Nowadays, it has greater importance compare to both soft and hard power.

Considering the complexities of threats and challenges, it is indispensable to use it to eliminate dangers.

Terrorism is the biggest challenge, as well as danger which need to be tamed. It has no concrete nature. It is loosely connected netwarks. In this situation, only soft power could be the best option .Indeed, it is working.

These are the three forms of power which have been emerged synchronously with the advancement of human civilization.

Today, the nature of threats is too amorphous rather than concrete or conspicuous. Therefore, the rise of importance of a higher level of power is out of compulsion.

I my blog, “understanding soft, hard and smart powers”, will enrich your knowledge about global politics.

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