The Future of Power by Joseph S. Nye Jr.

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In the era of Kennedy and Khrushchev, power was expressed in terms of nuclear missiles, industrial capacity, numbers of men under arms, and tanks lined up ready to cross the plains of Eastern Europe. By 2010, none of these factors confer power in the same way: industrial capacity seems an almost Victorian virtue, and cyber threats are wielded by non-state actors. Politics changed, and the nature of power—defined as the ability to affect others to obtain the outcomes you want—had changed dramatically. Power is not static; its story is of shifts and innovations, technologies and relationships.

Joseph Nye is a long-time analyst of power and a hands-on practitioner in government. Many of his ideas have been at the heart of recent debates over the role America should play in the world: his concept of "soft power" has been adopted by leaders from Britain to China; "smart power” has been adopted as the bumper-sticker for the Obama Administration’s foreign policy. This book is the summation of his work, as relevant to general readers as to foreign policy specialists. It is a vivid narrative that delves behind the elusive faces of power to discover its enduring nature in the cyber age.


About Joseph S. Nye Jr.

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Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, was Chairman of the National Intelligence Council and an Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration. A frequent contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, he is the author several books, including Governance in a Globalizing World and Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power.
Published February 1, 2011 by PublicAffairs. 322 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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As the author writes, “[d]uring the Cold War, military deterrence helped to prevent Soviet aggression in Europe, while the soft power of culture and ideas ate away at belief in communism behind the Iron Curtain.” Soft power may be an appealing alternative to the military solutions common to hard-...

Feb 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Future of Power

Huntington News

BEIJING (AP) July 28, 2011 — GE Healthcare, a maker of diagnostic imaging equipment, said it is moving its X-ray global headquarters from the United States to Beijing as it seeks to tap China and other emerging markets.

Jul 29 2011 | Read Full Review of The Future of Power

Portland Book Review

“[W]orld politics,” he says, “will not be the sole province of governments.” In order for nations to maintain their leadership positions, they’ll have to blend the hard power of coercion and money with the soft power of persuasion and attraction.

Feb 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Future of Power

Carlin Romano

Power is the ability to affect others to produce the outcomes one wants.

Jun 05 2011 | Read Full Review of The Future of Power

eInternational Relations

However, suggests Nye, this too is problematic, even in spite of its ability to quantify power in terms of measurable variables.[2] In essence, its focus on tangible forms of power undervalues soft power, and it ignores the reality of power conversion: resources do not always yield desired behav...

May 24 2012 | Read Full Review of The Future of Power

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