Hard Power, Soft Power, Smart Power

The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 2008

This article pushes beyond hard power and soft power to insist on smart power, defined as the capacity of an actor to combine elements of hard power and soft power in ways that are mutually reinforcing such that the actor’s purposes are advanced effectively and efficiently. It argues that advancing smart power has become a national security imperative, driven both by long-term structural changes in international conditions and by short-term failures of the current administration. The current debates over public diplomacy and soft power suffer from failures to address conceptual, institutional, and political dimensions of the challenge, three dimensions the author addresses in this article. Read More »