Joseph S. Nye The Future of Power


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Inhaltsangabe zu „The Future of Power“ von Joseph S. Nye

One of America's leading policy intellectuals, who coined the term soft power, looks at what has happened to American power from the time of Kennedy in the 60's through the present day. In the era of Kennedy and Khrushchev, power in the US 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 a 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 innovation, technologies and relationships. Josephy Nye is a long-term 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 summary 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.

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  • parts of my book review

    The Future of Power


    07. February 2014 um 15:45

    ..... The latest book of Nye, The Future of Power, is a critical review of the different types of power that exist and the author‘s purpose is to bring more clarity in the discussion about power, especially soft power. He also describes the power position of several countries, whereas his main focus is on the US, and also provides a policy recommendation for it. Moreover, it contains several tables which illustrate the key assumptions.  You do neither have to be a political scientist, nor an expert on power or the several countries mentioned in order to understand the arguments made by Nye. In the preface, he states that his book is not aimed at the academic audience but at “the intelligent reader.” In his analysis of power,  Nye includes historical facts, as well as simple formulas to bolster his arguments. He does this in a clear and coherent way, while leading the reader with fluidly through his concepts. However, he does not scare the intended audience off with too many historical examples and technical terms. The style of the novel is simple and concise but his conclusions seem self-evident and do not astonish the readers with IR background..... ...In conclusion, Nye believes that those who think America is in a serious state of decline are mistaken because the traditional tools used to measure such a statement are no longer applicable. Power is no longer measured in military forces, or the strength of the currency, etc. However, as sweeping his arguments sound, they do not convince me since most of his sources are very theoretical and not backed up by empirical evidence. The reader is left with the impression that Nye often remains on the surface...Nye’s latest book provides an interesting overview over international politics, but given the author's vast knowledge and experience, he could have, in several instances, provided a more in-depth analysis.

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