“Getting Smarter” with Joseph Nye
“Smart Power” is a concept developed by an American political scientist and IR scholar Joseph S. Nye Jr. Over decades international relations was dominated by the notion of hard power, concentrating mainly on military strength and economic growth. However, with the increasing number of concerning issues presented in the 21th century, hard power alone has no chance in solving problems such as climate change and global pandemics.
This is where Nye introduces his notion of “Smart Power,”- which he explains as “an ability to combine soft and hard power into a successful strategy where they reinforce rather undercut each other” (2021, p.10). This paper aims to answer the question how Joseph Nye’s notion of smart power successfully explains circumstances between powers since the end of the cold war till today. His Work on “Smart Power” proves the thesis, that among the recent IR scholars and theorists, Joseph Nye is one of the best at explaining the current circumstances between powers. This paper embarks on a content analysis of peer reviewed articles, books, statements, speeches and interviews that support the findings.
Keywords: Foreign Policy, Power Relations, Smart Power