Everyone is fond of powers not to exhibit but to influence others to get advantage. In the today’s globalizing world, nations are more sensitive than earlier. Hence, coercion is replaced by persuasion. So, now, the big actors are more focusing on soft power instead of hard coercive. For this, I’m going to explain the importance of soft power.
Soft power – cultural and money diplomacy
Unlike hard power, soft power is more persuasive rather than coercive. It doesn’t involve active but passive influence.
Meaning and definition of soft power
Soft power is the persuasive ability of a nation with the help of developmental or cultural means to influence the decisions of others to advance national interests.
Generally, it depends on the nation in question whether to receive the aid, assistance or not. Soft power cannot be compulsion but voluntary.
Examples of soft power
Nowadays, soft power includes:-
- Trade concessions for market access for developing or other nations.
- Economic aid or grant for cash crunched states.
- Technological help or assistance.
Developmental and expertise
- Others, like 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.
Use and importance of soft power
Understandably, soft power 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.
First, we have witnessed the recent clamour over the “China’s Dollar diplomacy” in the resource rich but poor nations. It is argued that by using money, China is influencing the poor nations to advance its interests.
Second, 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 in the world as a means to improve health is another example of soft power.
Third, grant-in-aid by developed nations can be termed as soft power as it has huge impacts on the mentality of poor states.
This is all about the importance of soft power. In the next blog, I will discuss hard and smart powers.