The concept of soft power – the ability to influence the behaviour of others and obtain desired outcomes through attraction and co-option – was coined by British Academy Fellow Joseph Nye. Over the past decade, it has been the subject of considerable debate, as governments at home and overseas have sought to exploit their soft power assets in the face of power shifts in order to further their foreign policy objectives.
This report discusses the nature and relevance of soft power in the context of how and why it matters for the UK. It analyses the UK’s soft power resources and its ability to mobilise them, examines the main dilemmas, and includes a series of recommendations for policy-makers and wider society.
ISBN 978-0-85672-613-2 March 2014
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Publication date: 1 Mar 2014
Author: Christopher Hill and Sarah Beadle