Power and politics term paper

Another important aspect of the hard-soft-power continuum is time.


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It appears that generating hard power requires much less time as its resources are tangible. In contrast, soft power takes relatively long to build as its intangible resources develop over a long period of time. Similarly, the temporal dimension of the gain of hard power and soft power strategies differs: while military or economic coercion tends to result in an immediate but short-duration outcome, attraction and persuasion have the tendency to cause long-term change. Gallarotti stresses that hard power evokes compelled action, whereas soft power induces voluntary action.

Furthermore, he states that compulsion leads to conflict and voluntariness to consent , p.

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For example, the repressive measures put onto Germany after the Great War provoked another World War, whereas the soft power used to construct the European Union resulted in almost 70 years of Europe-wide peace. Smith-Windsor argues that the borders between hard and soft power blur The use of armed forces is, according to him, therefore not to be seen at the hard power pole of the hard-soft-power continuum. Indeed, some foreign policy strategies may be perceived as effective combinations of the two poles of the power continuum.

Nossel, and Nye cf. Nye, Armitage and Nye state in that smart power draws from both hard and soft power resources p. Moving on from the definitional part of this paper.

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The characteristics of the contemporary world order weaken the effectiveness of hard power strategies. Based on Nye , Hackbarth defines the following characteristics , pp. In , Nye added the wide-spread access to information to this list p. An example for the ineffectiveness of basing foreign policy making solely on hard power strategies is the U.


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In the short term, these mistakes led to the failure of the action. The USA felt the endurance of this damage for instance when facing problems of their development aid programs in Africa cf. Hackbarth, ; and see below. Due to the above mentioned factors limiting the effectiveness of hard power, it is hard to find successful foreign policies solely based on hard power resources. Many states now enact soft power rather than hard in its external relations.

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This explanation mirrors some of the above mentioned factors triggering the decline in the use of hard power. On the other hand, also the concept of soft power has its weak points. Cooper lists three points of weakness. He firstly questions the strength of culture as a soft power resource as cultural influence does not equal political power , p. Secondly, the desirability of the outcomes of soft power strategies depends on particular circumstances which cannot necessarily be influenced by states ibid.

The U. Africa Command can be seen as an unsuccessful soft power strategy. Together with the isochronal Iraq invasion, this perception damaged the American soft power. Nevertheless, ineffective soft power strategies are usually the exception. The following examples show how soft power can be used effectively. The first example is the European Union and its ability to attract new members.

The EU is a leading intergovernmental organisation and its success generates among non-members states the desire to participate in the project of European integration. This attractiveness assures peace and safety among European states and the process of EU enlargement further strengthens its position at the global level. The terrorist groups also used social media to demand an end to intervention in the Middle East by U. An international coalition, led by the United States, has been formed to combat ISIS in response to this series of publicized murders. The specifics of target locations are a key point, however, and they emphasize the delicate and political nature of current conflict in the region.

Due to perceived national interest and geopolitical dynamics, Britain and France are more willing to be a part of airstrikes on ISIS targets in Iran and likely to avoid striking targets in Syria. Experts and the U. Others believe U. Their influence came, in part, from their ability to advocate for what many people held as important values.

Government leaders might have this kind of influence as well, but they also have the advantage of wielding power associated with their position in the government.

Power and Politics Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - words

As this example indicates, there is more than one type of authority in a community. Authority refers to accepted power—that is, power that people agree to follow. People listen to authority figures because they feel that these individuals are worthy of respect.


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Generally speaking, people perceive the objectives and demands of an authority figure as reasonable and beneficial, or true. For instance, a person who sees the flashing red and blue lights of a police car in his rearview mirror usually pulls to the side of the road without hesitation.

Such a driver most likely assumes that the police officer behind him serves as a legitimate source of authority and has the right to pull him over. As part of her official duties, the police officer then has the power to issue a speeding ticket if the driver was driving too fast. If the same officer, however, were to command the driver to follow her home and mow her lawn, the driver would likely protest that the officer does not have the authority to make such a request.

Not all authority figures are police officers, elected officials or government authorities. Besides formal offices, authority can arise from tradition and personal qualities. Based on this work, Weber developed a classification system for authority. His three types of authority are traditional authority, charismatic authority and legal-rational authority Weber Modern British Parliament Traditional Authority According to Weber, the power of traditional authority is accepted because that has traditionally been the case; its legitimacy exists because it has been accepted for a long time.

People adhere to traditional authority because they are invested in the past and feel obligated to perpetuate it. A more modern form of traditional authority is patrimonialism , which is traditional domination facilitated by an administration and military that are purely personal instruments of the master Eisenberg In this form of authority, all officials are personal favorites appointed by the ruler.

These officials have no rights, and their privileges can be increased or withdrawn based on the caprices of the leader. The political organization of ancient Egypt typified such a system: when the royal household decreed that a pyramid be built, every Egyptian was forced to work toward its construction.

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Traditional authority can be intertwined with race, class, and gender. In most societies, for instance, men are more likely to be privileged than women and thus are more likely to hold roles of authority. Similarly, members of dominant racial groups or upper-class families also win respect more readily. In the United States, the Kennedy family, which has produced many prominent politicians, exemplifies this model. The appeal of a charismatic leader can be extraordinary, and can inspire followers to make unusual sacrifices or to persevere in the midst of great hardship and persecution.

Charismatic leaders usually emerge in times of crisis and offer innovative or radical solutions. They may even offer a vision of a new world order. Charismatic leaders tend to hold power for short durations, and according to Weber, they are just as likely to be tyrannical as they are heroic. Because so few women have held dynamic positions of leadership throughout history, the list of charismatic female leaders is comparatively short. With the advancement of capitalism the powers and importance of corporate bodies have increased at an unprecedented rate.

The small and medium sized industries have failed to cope with the growing problems of economy. Miliband says, the advanced capitalism is synonymous with giant enterprise. It has been estimated by experts that in employment, investment, research, development, military activities, policy making the corporatism has been able to establish its overwhelmingly disproportionate importance.

In fact, the corporate bodies are the chief or potential sources of power and authority and the situation has reached such a pass that the corporatism is in unrivalled position. Miliband concludes that there is every reason to believe that the giant enterprise or corporatism will accumulate more and more power and importance in the coming years and there is no agency in advanced capitalist country to halt its growth.

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