Define Power, Explain With Examples The Concept Of Hard Power, Soft Power, And Smart Power In International Politics

Define Power, Explain With Examples The Concept Of Hard Power, Soft Power, And Smart Power In International Politics

CSS Solved International Relations Past Papers | Define Power, Explain With Examples The Concept Of Hard Power, Soft Power, And Smart Power In International Politics.

The following question is attempted by Miss Abeera Fatima, the top scorer in CSS IR paper. Moreover, the answer is written on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. This solved past paper question is uploaded to help aspirants understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.

QUESTION BREAKDOWN

In this question, the examiner has asked you to explain the concept of power in international politics; you have to elaborate the explanation through examples quoting scholars’ viewpoints. Further, you must explain the classification of power: hard, soft, and smart. All these classifications contain examples, benefits, and limitations. Finally, you can critically analyse the best form of power exercised in international politics. Lastly, note that, in Paper 1 of International Relations, you need to avoid pictorial representations; however, you can use theories, evidence, and assumptions.

1- INTRODUCTION
2- AN ANALYSIS OF POWER IN INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

  • ✓ Emergence of power
  • ✓ Definition of power
  • ✓ Scholars’ viewpoint on the power
  • ✓ Neo-Realism in contemporary international politics

A GLIMPSE OF CLASSIFICATIONS OF POWER IN INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

  • ✓ HARD POWER AKA COERCIVE POWER
  • ✓ SOFT POWER AKA FEMININE POWER
  • ✓ SMART POWER: NEXUS OF HARD POWER AND SOFT POWER

4- A CRITICAL ANALYSIS: WHICH IS THE BEST FORM OF POWER IN INTERNATIONAL POLITICS?
5- CONCLUSION

Answer to the Question

1- INTRODUCTION

Power has remained a significant concept of political science and international relations. Power has categorized into Hard power, Soft power, and Smart power. Influence by force falls into the category of hard power, while fascinating actors are under the shadow of soft power. The myriad of evidence of hard power is Napoleon’s military and economic expansion, the cold war era, and the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Cultural values and the responsible role of media are instances of soft power. Smart power is considered a big boss in the game by neo-realists and neo-liberalists. Diplomacy, education, and business innovation are the prime goals of Smart power. However, it is complex to practice, according to think tanks.

“Power is also like love, easier to experience than to define or measure, but no less real for that.”

Joseph S. Nye Jr.

2- POWER IN INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

EMERGENCE

The concept of power in the international arena has seen in the 17th and 18th centuries. Thucydides- the great theorist- used the word for the first time, explaining the Peloponnesian War (431- 404 BC) and its aftermath; the word started fascinating international relations.

DEFINITION

In Social Sciences, people consider power a series of attributes practiced to influence others. In other words, it is the ability to influence other people’s behavior. It can measure through tangible elements such as population, territory, natural resources, industrial capacity, agricultural capacity, and military and non-tangible such as leadership, personality, bureaucratic organization, efficiency, and foreign dependency with support.

SCHOLARS VIEW POINT ON POWER

  • Hans J. Morgenthau- a classical realist- considered the power of a man over the minds and actions of others which is the struggle for power in the international domain. It also evaluated power as the possession of material and non-material resources.
  • George Schwarzenbarger, in his book “Power Politics: A Study of World Society”, pondered power even as the capability of imposing one’s will on others through sanctions, penalties, and punishments.
  • Karl Marx’s view on power is the control of the dominant class (elite class) over the subordinate class (bourgeoisie class) of a society in terms of resources, privileges, liberty, and fraternity.

REALISM IN CONTEMPORARY INTERNATIONAL POLITICS: neo-realistic approach goes hand in hand with power in the international realm, the assumptions are:

  1. ✓ military force is the instrument to measure power
  2. ✓ the win-win approach is adopted through all means

3- CLASSIFICATION OF POWER IN INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

HARD POWER AKA COERCIVE POWER

EXPLANATION

The dictatorial nature of hard power induces military expansion, cyber wars, exploitation of resources and populations, and economic sanctions. Realistic and Neo Realistic Approach nurture hard power owing to its strong notion. In addition, it is hard power that intends to produce soft power to create balance of power in international realm.

EXAMPLES

Napoleon’s military and economic expansion throughout Europe in the 18th century is the best example in the context. Next is to quote the era of the cold war after WWII, typically using hard power; the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the formation of Afghan Mujaheed perfectly illustrate the use of economic and military power under the umbrella of hard power.

BENEFITS OF HARD POWER

  • Counter global threat: Terrorism is a heinous threat to human. Hard power is used at regional and international levels to counter the menace. Counter-terrorism watchdogs -such as the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) – can use hard economic and military power for the provision of peace and stability.
  • Strengthen traditional security of a state: As far as conventional security is concerned, hard power enacts deterrence, defense, balance of power, and alliance building for sovereign and self-governing states. It gives goose bump to territorial integrity.

LIMITATIONS OF HARD POWER

  • Carrots and sticks policy:Do more” policy for countries, particularly third world countries like Pakistan, enacts the sovereign decision and foreign policy as per the procedure. Cases in point, the role of Pakistan in the War on Terror and negotiation talks with the Afghan Taliban have become a real question mark on Pakistan’s sovereign decision of foreign policy.
  • Growing mistrust and skepticism: The race of nuclear proliferation and weapons of mass destruction is becoming apparent such as North Korea and Iran forming nuclear and ballistic missile technology. In the same way, globalization becomes ambiguous due to growing mistrust among stakeholders. It includes “Vaccine diplomacy” during the Covid-19 pandemic.

SOFT POWER AKA FEMININE POWER

EXPLANATION

The father of soft power is Joseph Nye-a professor of Harvard University– as he first coined the term in his book “Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics” in 1990. Soft power is actually the ability to fascinate and repel other actors. Here actors include multinational companies (MNCs), nation states actors, and non-governmental organizations (NGO). Co-optive means, diplomacy, and cooperation are a matter of degree for persuading attraction.

EXAMPLES

Education, cultural values, debates on ideology, vibrant role of media, and consumerism are some of instances. In the same way, a country’s tourism potential is cashed through soft power.

BENEFITS OF SOFT POWER

  • The Attraction of foreign direct investment through a conducive environment: Multinational companies attract a highly positive image of the state for investment, which, ultimately, brings employment opportunities; decreases gender disparity, and leads to progress and development in the region. The projects to be quoted here are Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI), China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and Build Better Back World (B3W).
  • Exchange of cross-culture food, local products, entertainment, and tradition: The popularity of “Smoosa” in the West; similarly, KFC, McDonald, French fries, pizza, pasta, and such forth across the globe are beyond expectations. The popularity of “Pasoori song” across Eastern borders is highly appreciated. Footballs, used by Federation International De Football Association (FIFA), are manufactured in Sialkot, Pakistan.

LIMITATIONS OF SOFT POWER

  • Propagation and exploitation through warfare: In today’s information age, Cyberwarfare and 5th Generation warfare are new tactics used for pure damage: to government and citizen’s infrastructure, systems of state, blackouts, and such forth. 
  • Expansion of dependency culture in economic paradigm: It is associated with the third world countries prone to such a dependency culture. The consequences of this culture are a default of the country; the same case goes for Sri Lanka. The Economy goes off defaults, which means all the assets of the people of Sri Lanka freeze out and zero foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country.

SMART POWER: NEXUS OF HARD POWER AND SOFT POWER

It is a holistic approach. The credibility of the word is associated with both Joseph Nye and Suzanne Nossel. The Center for Strategic and International Studies defines soft power as “an approach that underscores the necessity of a strong military; but also invests heavily in alliances, partnerships, and institutions of all levels to expand one’s influence and establish the legitimacy of one’s action.” In simple words, the equation mentioned below:

HARD POWER + SOFT POWER = SMART POWER/STRUCTURAL POWER

EXAMPLE

McClory’s research referred to examples of soft power in education, government, culture, diplomacy, and business innovation. All these can evaluate through measures of performance (MOP) and measures of effectiveness (MOE)

BENEFITS OF SMART POWER

  • Cultural diplomacy through education: The provision of scholarship programs for students across the globe is a perfect example of Smart power. It invites skilled forces in the country through mutual collaboration. Examples are GREAT Scholarships UK, Gates Cambridge Scholarships, and The Johns Hopkins – Bloomberg School of Public Health.
  • Diplomatic negotiations: It is Smart power that detained two of the then superpowers, the US and USSR, during the cold war, despite the iron curtain in Europe. Similarly, opening “Kartarpur Corridor” in Pakistan is a diplomatic move to enhance religious tourism.

LIMITATIONS OF SMART POWER

  • Debates on transformational diplomacy versus smart power strategy: Condoleezza Rice– Secretary of the US – under the Bush administration- coined the term “Transformational Diplomacy” to symbolic the doctrine of Mr. Bush that is the promotion of democracy through a Hard power-driven strategy, hence, “Transformational diplomacy” goes anti with Smart power, that means hard and soft power resources based on the particular situation. However, Obama’s foreign policy hits off smart power strategy through a balance between defense and diplomacy.
  • Extension of American Imperialism through Smart power:  It is of high critique that America, being imperialistic, focuses on partnership with the rest of the world, for politico-economic benefits, in the Digital Age. President Obama defined his vision for US leadership as “not in the spirit of a patron but the spirit of a partner.”

4- CRITICAL ANALYSIS: WHICH FORM OF POWER IS BEST?

Realistic thinkers prefer hard power to influence; in contrarily, Liberalistic approaches to soft power for achieving sustainable goals. In the same way, Neo-Realistic and Neo-Liberalistic nourish Smart Power to exercise in the best possible way. However, it is a complex phenomenon to exercise because of capacity building and diplomatic negotiations.

5- CONCLUSION

Conclusively, power is a magnificent concept in international politics; however, it influences others through different means. However, the classifications of power are renowned as tangible and non-tangible elements. Hard power is to govern through economic and military force, while soft power is to fascinate. However, Smart power is the marriage of soft and hard power. Thus, Smart power is a complex notion executed in a modern materialistic world.

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