Many of us have often come across the term “Soft Power”. The term has been used loosely in International Relations for developed nations of the world, particularly, The United States of America and other European countries. And while many of you might still want to try out the Betway live sports betting app, you would surely want to know about the world's history.
Culture as a Weapon: How does it Happen?
Western nations like the U.S. have time and again used their power to influence decision making in other countries. “Soft Power” is simply the ability to influence the opinions and preferences of other nations through appeal and attraction rather than by coercion. However, the U.S. isn’t the only culprit.
Foreign policies and culture are some of the most potent means of soft power. There have been numerous examples throughout the world history which substantiates the importance of culture as an asset for asserting influence over others.
Culture and the Cold War
The Cold War is one of the prime examples. Everybody knows that The Soviet Union and The U.S. were at loggerheads for supremacy during the Cold War. The Soviets tried every means possible to attract other nations towards its policies which ranged from organizing peace movements to sponsoring nuclear protests.
How Russia Lost Out
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Russia's opaque systems and a lack of culture proved to be a major hindrance. On the other hand, American music, films, and food are popular all over the world. This has led to a wide-scale acceptance of American culture and its opinion on various matters of International Significance.
More recent examples include efforts made by the Turkish Government to sponsor the short-term emigration of Imams across Europe and North America. China has also been striving hard to promote its rich culture proactively through many Confucius Institutes around the world.
Morocco isn’t far behind too. It has been actively pursuing its goal of establishing the country as a cultural soft power in Africa. Towards this purpose, the country has been regularly organizing various festivals and exhibitions in Africa.
France has long been the subject of ire among many countries in Africa because of its colonial past. Of late, the country has been trying hard to wash itself of its earlier image and promote itself as a soft growing power. President Marconi’s recent promise to return the cultural property to Africa which France looted earlier is a step to cleanse France’s imperial image and establish itself as a global soft power.
The role of culture as a major influence to change political views and perception can’t be overstated. In fact, the modern war will not be won on the battlefield. It will be won through diplomacy and public opinion. Nations which can influence others through their superior and popular culture are the ones which will come out victorious in the war.