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Global power, influence and perception in the 21st Century

Joint British Academy / American Academy of Arts and Sciences Event, held on Tuesday 24 June 2014 at the British Academy.

The world is an increasingly connected and interdependent; our relations with other nations have never been more important and more valuable to maintain and nourish. In this light, a nation's influence and the perception of a nation are key areas of concern in global power debates. This means more than the operations of governments and critically involves the activities of the private sector, society and culture at large.

'Soft power' – the ability to influence the behaviour of others and achieve what you want through attraction and co-option – is widely regarded as an indispensable way to exert influence in today's world. But what exactly is it and how and when should it be used?

Watch Karl W. Eikenberry (former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General), Professor Sir Adam Roberts (Senior Research Fellow of the Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford) and Sir Martin Davidson (Chief Executive of the British Council) as they explore what soft power is and its significance and dilemmas today. The event is chaired by Bridget Kendall, BBC Diplomatic Correspondent.