Chronicling the Bottom Up
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Joseph Nye; Soft Power, Smart Power; The Future of Power

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Broadcast 3/30/2011 at 02:33:37 (0 Listens, 0 Downloads, 0 Itunes)
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I was introduced to Joseph Nye through a book he wrote the forward to, American Idol After Iraq, co-authored by hollywood uber producer Mike Medavoy. I started working on setting up this interview last summer. It was worth the effort. Nye gives a fascinating perspective on the ideas of hard power, soft power, diffusion of power, changing roles of the media and blogging, how China, India, Russia, Brazil and Indonesia will fit into the world's power balance, the role of Hollywood, the US dollar and more.

Wikipedia reports that a survey of 1700 international relations scholars ranked Joseph Nye as the sixth most influential scholar of the past twenty years, and the most influential on American foreign policy.
He is a consultant for the pentagon.

rough interview notes:
Let's start with some definitions.
What is soft power.
abiliity to affect others to get things you want.
Three ways-- threaten, pay or attract.
What is smart power?

ability to combine soft power and hard power.
What is power diffusion?
shift of power
And can you give some examples?
access to power
There are a lot more actors who can play on the world stage?
should be asking how do we treat govt info-- classify less...
differences in costs of hard power and soft power.
US spends on public diplomacy spends on billion or 1.5 billion a year, about same as Britain and france-- US govt ahs a pygmy in the state dept.
Clinton and gates have realized this.
Agreed to transfer one aid program, but then was cut.
shift in foreign aid to military-- 15 to 22%
miltarization of foreign aid.
You wind up with a foreign policy with military tinge to foreigners
IN american political discourse, we think more of hard power, not soft power.
We need to learn to organize soft power to organize networks....
In an information age
Soft Power and narratives:
If you don't have a story, somebody else does. ....
If you ask questions about how do you influence others, how do you get them to work with you, having a powerful story is very important
In Cairo, the army had the guns, but the demonstrators in Tahrir square had the narrative. Each was the
Transition from top down to bottom up
That's the concept of power diffusion....
There's a new group of actors
Obama and Libya.
Danger of humanitarian aid.
Somalia and mission creep
Non-nation power.
non-state actors powered by information-- some very good, like Oxfam, some very bad, like Al Qaeda...
On 911 a non-state actor killed more Americans than Japan did at Pearl Harbor.
BLogging discussions... good
Cable TV.... bad-- trying to attract eyeballs through extremism.
ONly about 5 million who watch cable TV compared to 30 million who listen to Public radio.
Cable... and bloggers tend to set the public agenda.
Reagan's shining city on the hill.
We attract others by what we do, how we behave and not by giving orders.

That can be very important to the United States.
Indonesia us positive impression went from 75% to 15%
Obama getting cooperation
If your policies are seen as legitimate in the eyes of others, then they're attractive and their attractiveness is soft power.
Hard power can be diminished with diminished soft
counterproductive power.
Russian invasion of Georgia. They used hard power and because they didn't use soft power.
Judith McHale state-- web
If you had billions more for spending on soft power.
Civilian to civilian.
Much of American soft power is generated by civil society not by the government, everything from Harvard to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Let's talk about Hollywood. It's something where people come in touch with American through films than through American government actions.
Overall there is a tone in American films that tends to emphasize freedom and choice....
Famous story from the clld word-- soviet union would show films that they thought showed how corrupt American system was, used Twelve Angry men-- made people realize that a country that allowed self criticism had to be free.
Issue with China-- chinese censor films
India doesn't censor its films... Bollywood probably produces more films than Hollywood.
China could increase soft power by stopping.
You've talked about the need for internet diplomacy, on chat groups, blogs, etc Can you talk about that?
"There is a tradeoff on security and openness and we've erred on the side of security."
Exchange students and visas?
Future of Chinese power.
The chinese aren't ten feet tall.
Equality in size does not equal equality in composition.
"If the US does not take the lead on climate change it's not going to get done."
exporting hope and fear:
"Optimism is an important asset."
liabilities of neglecting soft power-- depending on money and armaments. Dumb power? Rumsfeld?
triumphalism, declinism, exceptionalism?
American EXceptionalism
Puritans thought they were breaking off from the old, immoral world... so American exceptionalism has a long history. American founding fathers were also concerned with decline-- Dickens quote. Cycles of belief in decline.
Things to do to build soft power-- for Obama, for the BRIC nations, for corporations, for media...
How to restructure public diplomacy?
New government organizations?
Privatization of Soft Power-- Mike Medavoy's book.
diminishing, questioning.
Funding to study power-- soft, smart.
Index of soft power
800 articles in chinese on soft power.

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Rob Kall is the host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, WNJC 1360, where he discusses how the bottom up mind and bottom up revolution are reaching different areas of the world, of life, of politics, business, society and anywhere else.

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