What is the difference between hard power and soft power? Soft power is the ability to attract and co-opt, rather than by coercion (hard power), which is using force or giving money as a means of persuasion.
Soft power is the ability to shape the preferences of others through appeal and attraction.The analogy of the carrot or the stick works well to describe the distinctions between soft and hard power. In international relations, soft power is the ability of one actor to induce another actor to do something of their own volition. Hard power is using force to make another actor do something (even when they may not want to).It can sometimes be difficult to detect the use of soft power in complicated matters of foreign relations. One state might make a series of decisions that will have ripple effects on the desired outcome. Terrorist groups use soft power very effectively.
Through propaganda they attract people to their cause. Few people are forced to join ISIS abroad or to take up arms in front of a Confederate Statue in the U.S.
But the organizers of those groups create an alluring sense of power for individuals who are susceptible. In this semester, I reviewed Russia’s attempts in using soft power to remake its image in a post-Cold War world as a global power that was “more appealing” in the eyes and minds of foreign countries’ leaders and even its own people.Hard power is the use of force to achieve a desired outcome.
Examples can range from the obvious use of military powers to the less obvious use of sanctions. The biggest advantage of hard power is the fact that it can be enacted quickly whereas soft power can take a long time to be maximally effective. However, hard power can have unintended consequences. Today’s troubles in the Middle East stem in large part from our use of hard power to topple Saddam Hussein. When hard power is used to enact regime change, there are many unknown variables. Define defensive, deterrent, preventive, and preemptive military strategiesMilitary strategies are employed to prevent, preempt, deter and defend against threats by a state in the vital interest of its national security. These threats are often in the form of hard power and capable of causing damage and destruction.
Military strategies have a plan and states execute commitment to that plan because the strategy is understood as a means to an end. A deterrence strategy uses counter threats or force to stop the unwelcomed actions of a nation or group (e.g., terrorists, social movements). Deterrence is intentional, never irrational. Deterrence can be achieved in many ways, most notably through punishment. Less obvious form of deterrence include instilling fear and limiting freedoms. A defensive strategy, on the other hand, is a form of protection or a shield against an impending threat or force (e.
g., a missile defense system). It denies or neutralizes the enemy’s capability to cause harm or destruction. Preemptive strategies are employed to stop a threat from happening, such as negotiations around nuclear arms to eliminate the chances of a nuclear missile being launched. A longer-term strategy is prevention.
Over time and with continuous effort, prevention can lower the intent and/or capability of threats. Prevention strategies could include negotiations (liberalist view) or alliances to achieve a balance of power (realist view). What is the importance of international law? What role does human rights law play in international discourse of the present world especially in terms of international cooperation? International law was initially established through the League of Nations after WWI and seen primarily as a mechanism to prevent the use of hard power by nation states to settle future conflicts. Reimagined with a more liberal-Democratic vision through the formation of the United Nations (UN) to help end WWII, the UN is the primary Intergovernmental Organization (IGO) that provides the mechanism by which nation-states can create, maintain and resolve disputes about international law. International law is critical in the 21st century because the challenges countries face increasingly do not stop at the border (e.
g. technological threats and climate change). Additionally, most countries are reliant on the global economy (e.g.
energy dependency, exports to drive GDP, and innovation). Because of the human rights atrocities of WWII, the UN’s mandate is broad and includes an explicit focus on human rights. The UN has the authority to investigate and intercede in nation states when it believes grave human rights offenses may be occurring. Not all member states of the UN have signed or in some cases ratified the International Declaration of Human Rights, but regardless of individual member states stance on the letter of human rights law, there can be serious implications for countries perceived to be violators of their peoples’ rights.
Take North Korea for instance. Its well documented human rights abuses have created an almost wholesale exclusion from international participation with most countries. However, China, remains steadfast as an economic trading partner with the North Koreans. In turn, when China seeks to negotiate better agreements with other countries, such as the U.S., a frequent point of tension is their relationship with North Korea. How would the four main schools of thought – realism, liberalism, constructivism, and social movement theory – explain the role and efficacy of international organizationsThe Realist’s view, in general, is that the international system is anarchical; an international regime lacks discipline, effectiveness and order.
Realists are focused on the establishment of security among sovereign states, more explicitly powerful sovereign states. Realists view nation states as having definitive boundaries and their civilians should hold allegiance to their respective state. Realists have a steadfast belief in that war is the only means to maintain power.
In essence, states are always driven by a struggle to achieve power or to maintain power if they already possess it. In the broader realm of international relations, realists see international cooperation as only beneficial when a state is seeking a balance of power, even if it requires forming alliances or bandwagoning with other states to do so. Realists may also take the position that – in the name of national security – diplomats in bordering states can be strategically used to gain intelligence about other countries and conduct net assessments on their military capabilities as well as asses their own. A realist neither dismisses nor promotes international organizations (IGOs). In the realist’s view, IGOs are marginal at best. A realist might recognize the benefits of being a founding member of an IGO, as IGOs tend to develop and uphold policies most in favor of founding member interests.
On the other hand, a realist would be quick to note that it would be expensive for a state to untie themselves from an IGO at a later date. A realist, ironically, might benefit greatly from IGOs in fighting terrorism. Realists tend to disregard the threat terrorism. However, terrorism today represents a transnational social movement. While a realist might believe they can deter acts of terrorism domestically, it likely will not kill the source. An international effort might be a realist’s best strategy in neutralizing terrorism. Contemporary liberalism widens the scope of international relations beyond those of state-to-state.
It suggests that societies – people and communities – are effective in drawing up peaceful relations across nations. Conflict is minimized through overlapping memberships held by individuals and groups that crosscut national interests. For example, global institutions, such as the WTO, are created to support international cooperation by setting rules in the interest of all its members. Liberalists believe that the institutional system provides states a seat at the table and economic interdependence. A liberalist might find international organizations a clever tool in establishing his/her own political success. In democratic governments, elected leaders are held accountable to their people and wars are not popular because they diminish a society’s livelihood and redirect domestic resources for military cause.
Therefore, a liberalist is wise to see international organizations as an opportunity to bargain before going to war.Constructivism would view IGOs as a means to get things done. Because international relations is not fixed, IGOs could be helpful in creating a stage for dialogue and establishing common laws. For example, in the case of nuclear weapons, a constructivist viewpoint would be that a non-proliferation treaty promulgated by an IGO could be a useful course of action.Social movement theory would see IGOs as important players in international relations.
IGOs provide a formal entity to which social movements can direct their activities and calls to action. Social movements are bound together by four characteristics: a cause or grievance, a belief in that the situation can change, a sense of urgency, and the ability to come together to mobilize around their issue. In order to succeed, however, social movements rely on outside sources. They can leverage IGOs for funding and leadership to support their vital cause. One drawback of IGOs as responders to social movement demands can be the opacity of their process and diffused incentives to act. At the same time, an IGO could be the quickest method for gaining an audience with representatives from all the member countries. Constructivism and social movements Can’t be proven/disproven, more subjective, hard to see causalityNorms are not enforcable but common law (this is our way…)Believe weapons that go against their morals are taboo nuclear/biological for instanceHave ideas (if I do x, then y will happen)Make sense of what is happening (why what is, is…)Int’l relations is about social constructA balance doesn’t really existTailor ideas to affect changeAnarchy is what the state makes of itEverything is a choiceMirror image concept (assume everyone else sees things they way they do)Especially applies to groups… Social MovementsNorms and ideas play a role in IRBelieve this has power because it evolves ideasIn a diplomatic sense, getting others to see their ideas through promotion and persuasionOnly their most To what extent do non-state actors constrain states in the areas of security and economics? Are these effects significant enough that realists, liberals, and constructivists should rethink the place of the state as the primary unit of analysis? Non-state actors include a range of organizations that have profound impact on the ways nation states conduct their business. A non-exhaustive list of these groups would include non-governmental organizations (NGOs), multinational corporations including media companies, religious organizations, Indigenous populations, and even terrorist groups.
It’s easy to see how these groups can impact states in the areas of security and economics. From a security perspective, terrorist organizations are a top concern. Internationally or within our own borders, they are often loosely formed networks that are difficult to negotiate with because they lack formal power structures. The often repeated line “we don’t negotiate with terrorists” would be more honestly represented with the concluding phrase, “because we don’t know where to call them.” From an economic perspective, multinational corporations are truly more dominant world players than many countries. A 2011 Business Insider article found 25 American corporations whose revenues exceeded those of whole countries. Companies of this size have the ability to buy influence on Capital Hill and in some countries, may represent the largest economic interest of a foreign entity sitting across the table from a U.S.
diplomat. While the Paris Climate Accord struggles to get traction, Wal-Mart can impose policies on its more than 90,000 global suppliers unilaterally.The competing schools of international relations theory — realism, liberalism and constructivism — are each likely to view non-state actors differently. The neo-realism theory would hinge primarily on a nation-state’s ability to build and maintain power through military force.
When looking at the non-state actors, few would be deemed more than a bit player or nuisance factor to the realist evaluating strategic options and tactics. One exception could be multinational corporations directly related to the use of hard force such as weapons manufacturers, oil and gas companies, or increasingly due to the threat of cyber-attack, companies related to cyber security. The liberalism view would make the most space for the importance of non-state actors in an international system. Rooted in a game theory approach to strategies for international cooperation to achieve the best outcomes, liberalism would likely acknowledge the potentially positive role that non-state actors could play. From NGOs such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which is seeking to pick up the slack for developing countries in addressing global health crises to multinational media companies that have the potential to play an important watchdog role globally. The liberalism view point tends to support the spread of Democratic principles and to the extent that successful multinational companies bring more economic independence to people with even a modicum of checks and balances within the power structure, they too would be seen as levers that could be manipulated to achieve strategies. Constructivism would see each non-state actor through the complicated lens of ideology.
For instance, when the Arab Spring uprisings tore across the Middle East, a realist or structuralist perspective might be that enough protesters came together to shift the power dynamic. A constructivist viewpoint would instead say that the idea that was motivating the protestors finally took hold in a meaningful way to challenge the former social construct. So non-state actors would likely be viewed through the lens of their relationship to the former and latter social constructs. The Constructivist viewpoint seems to be the most likely to consider the potential elimination of the state as “a” dominant player international relations.