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Soft Power: The Means to Succeed in World Politics - P3
Quyền lực mềm: Phương tiện để thành công trong chính trị thế giới – P3
CHAPTER THREE: Others' Soft Power
THE UNITED STATES has enormous soft-power resources, and has often used them effectively to achieve outcomes it wanted. Given America's role as a leader of the information age, the opportunities for American soft power should increase if the nation acts skillfully. But the United States is not alone. Others, both countries and nonstate actors, also possess soft power that can be used to help or hinder the United States' achievement of its preferred outcomes.
THE SOVIET UNION
During the Cold War, America's primary competitor in soft-power resources was the Soviet Union, which engaged in a broad campaign to convince the rest of the world of the attractiveness of its Communist system. As mentioned in chapter 1, after 1945 the Soviet Union attracted many in Europe because of its resistance to Hitler, and in colonized areas such as Mrica and Asia because of its opposition to European imperialism. The utopian promise of Communism appealed to many people in various parts of the world, and Moscow used local Communist Parties to serve its interests. The Soviet Union also spent billions on an active public diplomacy program that included promoting its high culture, broadcasting, disseminating disinformation about the West, and sponsoring antinuclear protests, peace movements, and youth organizations.
High economic growth rates in the early period of postwar reconstruction bolstered Soviet claims that it would overtake the West. When Nikita Khrushchev visited the United States in 1959, many people took seriously his claim that the Soviet Union would one day bury the United States. The apparent success of the Soviet planned economy provided the Soviets not only with hard resources but also a degree of soft-power resources as well. The 1957 launch of Sputnik, the first space satellite, led many people in European countries to believe that the USSR was ahead of the United States in space, and that science occupied a more respected position in Soviet culture than in American.! These investments not only had military implications but also advanced Soviet soft power and the Soviet Union's claims that Communism was "scientific socialism."
The USSR also placed great emphasis on demonstrating the superiority of its cultural and educational systems, spending large sums on the arts. The Bolshoi and Kirov ballet companies and Soviet symphony orchestras attracted wide acclaim (though socialist realist art did not.) The Soviets also invested heavily in sports, and over the decades Soviet Olympic teams won more gold medals than the U.S. in the Winter Games, and were second in the Summer Games. Popular culture, however, was an entirely different story. The closed nature of the Soviet system and its constant efforts to exclude bourgeois cultural influences meant that the Soviet Union ceded the battle for mass culture, never competing with American global influence in film, television, or popular music. As we saw in the last chapter, American music and films leaked into the Soviet Union with profound effects, but the indigenous Soviet products never found an overseas market. There was no socialist Elvis. Government-sponsored efforts like the magazine Soviet Life or the television series Russian Language and People were faint echoes in the empty hall of popular culture. Soviet culture did not generate many soft-power resources.
Polls in Western Europe show how ineffective the Soviets were at expanding their soft power. Their efforts did little to increase their attractiveness. In 1959, for example, 32 percent of Italians, 24 percent of British, 17 percent of French, and only 7 percent of Germans had a good opinion of the USSR. Ratings for the United States were much higher. In 1981, 21 percent of Italians, 12 percent of British, 19 percent of French and 8 percent of Germans had a favorable view of the Soviets. Only in 1989, after Mikhail Gorbachev finally changed Soviet policies and brought an end to the Cold War, did Soviet favorability ratings rise to 65 percent among Italians, 59 percent among British, 45 percent among French, and a remarkable 71 percent among Germans (albeit the Soviet ratings were still lower than those for the United States).2 Gorbachev's policy of glasnost (openness) had a positive effect on Soviet soft power.
In science and technology, classical music, ballet, and athletics, Soviet culture was attractive, but the absence of popular cultural exports limited its impact. Even more important, Soviet propaganda was inconsistent with its policies. At home, Soviet claims were undercut by the revelations that followed de-Stalinization in 1956, and later by an economic slowdown as the central planning system failed to keep pace with markets that were becoming ever more flexible in the advancing information age. In foreign policy, Soviet claims to leadership of progressive anti-imperial forces were belied by the invasion of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968 and the crackdown in Poland in 1981. A closed system, lack of an attractive popular culture, and heavy-handed foreign policies meant that the Soviet Union was never a serious competitor with the United States in soft power during the Cold War.
Currently, the closest competitor to the United States in soft power resources is Europe. European art, literature, music, design, fashion, and food have long served as global cultural magnets. Taken individually, many European states have a strong cultural attractiveness: half of the ten most widely spoken languages in the world are European. Spanish and Portuguese link Iberia to Latin America, English is the language of the United States and the far-flung Commonwealth, and there are nearly 50 Francophone countries who meet at a biannual summit at which they discuss policies and celebrate their status as countries having French in common. France spends close to $1 billion a year to spread French civilization around the world. As seen from distant Singapore, "France's soft power has been
clearly maintained or even increased in the past fifty years, although Paris may no longer be the prime intellectual, cultural and philosophical capital of the world." But the soft power does not rest only on language use. One advocate of "Asian values," former Prime Minister Mahathir of Malaysia, refers to the new concerns about environment and human rights as "European values."
In terms of other potential soft power resources:
● France ranks first in Nobel Prizes for literature; Britain, Germany, and Spain are third, fourth and fifth.
● Britain, Germany, and France rank second, third, and fourth in Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry.
● Britain, Germany, and France are third, fourth, and fifth (behind the U.S. and Japan) in music sales.
● Germany and Britain are third and fourth in book sales, and fourth and fifth as Internet website hosts.
● France ranks ahead of the United States in attracting tourists (albeit heavily from its neighbors in Europe).
● Britain is first and Germany is second in attracting applications for political asylum.
● France, Germany, Italy, and Britain have higher life
expectancy at birth than does the U.S.
● Almost all European countries outrank the United States in overseas development assistance as a percent of GDP.
● Soccer, Europe's primary sport, is far more popular globally than American football or baseball.
● European popular music has a global following.
● European multinationals have brands with global name recognition.
● Though much smaller than the United States, Britain and France each spend about the same as the United States on public diplomacy.
No single European state can hope to compete with the United States in size, but taken as a whole, Europe has a market of equivalent size, and a somewhat larger population. Furthermore, the European Union as a symbol of a uniting Europe itself carries a good deal of soft power. Polls conducted in July 2002 found that a majority of Americans had a favorable image of the European Union, and ranked it fourth for its influence in the world behind the United States, Britain, and China.? The idea that war is now unthinkable among countries that fought bitterly for centuries, and that Europe has become an island of peace and prosperity creates a positive image in much of the world. In the late 1980s, when Eastern Europeans were asked which countries would serve as models for their future in terms of economic growth, equality, democracy, and individual freedoms, Western Europe outranked the United States. Even in pro-American Poland, a survey of Warsaw youth in 1986 showed that half would choose a West European country as a place to live if given a free choice, compared to 8 percent who would choose the United States and 4 percent who would opt for another socialist country. Both the Polish and Czechoslovak election campaigns in 1989 were marked by the slogan "back to Europe."
With the end of the Cold War, the goal of joining the European Union became a magnet that meant the entire region of Eastern Europe oriented itself toward Brussels. In a 1991 poll, 75 percent in Czechoslovakia had a favorable view of the European Economic Community (64 percent said the United States was a good influence). The newly free countries adapted their domestic laws and policies to conform with West European standards. Ironically, in 2003, a higher portion of people in the 13 candidate countries ranked the EU as attractive (54 percent) than did citizens of the 15 EU countries themselves (47 percent). The historian Timothy Garton Ash has written that Europe's "soft power is demonstrated by the fact that not only millions of individuals but also whole states want to enter it. Turkey, for example." In Turkey, the desire to join the EU led the government to pass difficult legislation reducing the role of the military in politics and improving Turkey's record on human rights issues.
This is why Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's efforts during the Iraq War to divide "old and new Europe" were so clumsy and heavy-handed. While the United States still enjoys a fund of goodwill in Eastern Europe left over from its opposition to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, polls show that Eastern Europeans see their long-run future tied to the European Union and do not wish to have to choose between Europe and the United States. The EU knows that it holds this soft-power card and has used it to obtain the policy outcomes it preferred. For example, when President Bush called European leaders in December 2002 to urge them to admit Turkey to the European Union, they regarded his calls as a cynical ploy to persuade Turkey to support the United States over Iraq, and he was told that this would be a purely European decision.
A measure of the EU's emerging soft power is the view that it is a positive force for solving global problems. In the wake of the Iraq War, Eastern Europeans and Turks gave the EU higher marks than the United States for playing a positive role on a variety of issues ranging from fighting terrorism to reducing poverty to protecting the environment. Despite the fact that many Eastern European leaders supported the U.S.-led war, their citizens felt that the EU plays a more positive role than the U.S. on a variety of transnational issues. Shirley Williams, a British political leader, has concluded, "Europe's military strength, its 'hard power,' may be derisory as Donald Rumsfeld implied. Its 'soft power'... is formidable indeed." The vast majority of Americans recognize this as well: nearly nine in ten agree that the EU can help solve world problems through diplomacy, trade, and development aid even though it is not as militarily powerful as the U.S.
Of course, Europe still faces a number of problems as its division over Iraq illustrated. It is united on trade, monetary policy, and agriculture, and increasingly on human rights and criminal laws. It is seeking a stronger constitution, which will create a presidency and a foreign minister, but when there is disagreement, foreign and defense policies will remain effectively with national governments. Money and guns, the traditional high cards of hard state power, remain primarily under the control of the member states. Moreover, bureaucratic obstacles and rigid labor markets may hamper rapid economic growth, and underlying demographic trends are unfavorable. If nothing changes, by 2050, the median age may be 52 (it will be 35 in the U.S.). With a population that is not only aging but shrinking, Europe will have to accept increasing numbers of immigrants (which is politically difficult) or accept that being older and smaller will diminish its influence in world affairs. As one demographer put it, the Europeans are "aging in a world that is becoming younger. And in a global economy, they're not going to share in the energy and vitality that comes with a younger population."
At the same time, many European domestic policies appeal to young populations in modern democracies. For example, European policies on capital punishment, gun control, climate change, and the rights of homosexuals are probably closer to the views of many younger people in rich countries around the world than are American government policies. The new constitution of South Africa bears more resemblance to the European Convention on Human Rights than to the American Bill of Rights. The First Amendment expert Fred Schauer points out, "On issues of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and equality, for example, the United States is seen as representing an extreme position, whether it be in the degree of its legal protection of press misbehavior and of racist and other forms of hateful speech or in its unwillingness to treat race-based affirmative action as explicitly constitutionally permissible." It is also interesting that European precedents are now being cited in American law. When the American Supreme Court decided the case of Lawrence v. Texas regarding sexual privacy in 2003, the majority opinion cited a 1981 decision of the European Court of Human Rights for the first time.
On economic policies as well, though many people admire the success of the American economy, not all extol it as a model for other countries. Some prefer the European approach, in which government plays a greater role in the economy than it does in the United States. Social safety nets and unions are stronger and labor markets more regulated in Europe. American cultural attitudes, bankruptcy laws, and financial structures more strongly favor entrepreneurs than do European ones, but many people in Europe object to the price of high levels of inequality and insecurity that accompany America's greater reliance on market forces. America does better than Europe in job creation, with less than half the rate of unemployment in Germany, but The Economist concludes that "the notion that the American economy stands on top of the world is questionable. It is also vulnerable to criticism because of its wider income inequality." The lowest 10 percent of people in America's income distribution were only thirteenth from the bottom in average income when compared with relatively poor people in other advanced economies. Many Europeans ranked higher. The superior job performance of the American economy does not alone make it more attractive than Europe's. For example, in the 1991 poll cited earlier, majorities in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Bulgaria said a social democracy along the lines of Sweden was most appropriate for their countries.
In addition to its attractive culture and domestic policies, Europe also derives soft power from its foreign policies, which often contribute to global public goods. Of course not all European policies are far-sighted-witness its protectionist common agricultural policy, which damages farmers in poor countries-but Europe gains credibility from its positions on global climate change, international law, and human rights treaties. Moreover, Europeans provide 70 percent of overseas development assistance to poor countries-four times more than the United States. Europe also has ten times as many troops as the United States involved in peacekeeping operations under multilateral organizations such as the UN and NATO. France took the lead recently in sending a mission to the Congo. In 2003, France and Germany had more than twice as many troops in Kosovo as the United States, and Europeans working through NATO took charge of the International Security Force in Afghanistan.
Europeans have been less likely to shrink from the hard tasks of nation building that America initially eschewed under the Bush administration. In many ways, Europeans are more adept and comfortable than the United States in deploying the civilian resources that enhance soft power. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has argued, "Europe's experience in the exercise of the subtle art of soft power could prove indispensable to the reconstruction of Iraq. The EU tends to exert its influence overseas via the promotion of democracy and development through trade and aid. The results have been impressive in central and eastern Europe."
In recent years Europeans have also been more comfortable with and adept at using multilateral institutions than Americans. This is in part a reflection of their experiences in the development of the European Union and in part a reflection of their self-interest in seeking multilateral constraints on the world's only superpower. But whatever the reasons, in a world where unilateralism is heavily criticized, the European propensity toward multilateralism makes European countries' policies attractive to many other countries. Europeans have used their soft power in multilateral institutions to deprive the United States of the legitimizing effects of such support. As we saw in chapter I, France was able to create a coalition that countered American soft power by preventing a second Security Council resolution before the Iraq War. As the political analyst Andrew Moravscik points out, "In country after country, polls have shown that a second United Nations Security Council resolution would have given public opinion a 30-40 per cent swing towards military action." Instead, the United States had to pay a higher price than necessary for the war both in soft power and in the subsequent costs of policing and reconstructing Iraq.
The European preference for multilateral cooperation has generated a few successes that have increased Europe's soft power as well as its economic power. Mter a bumpy start, the Airbus consortium surpassed Boeing as the world's leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners. In the mobile phone industry, European governments agreed on a single regulatory standard, GSM, as early as 1987, while Americans used a market-driven approach to allow a standard to emerge and dominate. The result was that Europe developed a stronger infrastructure than the United States and was able to dominate the wireless market in the 1990s.24 A future test of the European approach will be the Galileo global navigation satellite system, Europe's answer to the U.S.-based Global Positioning System (GPS). While excessive bureaucracy can hamper the European approach, the ability to work cooperatively on large information infrastructure projects that serve as global public goods can increase Europe's soft power as well as its economic power.
Europeans also invest more in their public diplomacy, as we shall see in the next chapter. The Europeans have a longer tradition and spend more, particularly in international cultural relations, an area in which France had the highest per capita spending, over $17 and more than four times that of second-ranked Canada; Britain and Sweden rank third and fourth. In comparison, American State Department funding for international cultural programs spending was only 65 cents per capita. In addition, European countries have been increasing their efforts to recruit students to their schools and universities from other parts of the world.
Not only can European soft power be used to counter American soft power and raise the price of unilateral actions, but it can also be a source of assistance and reinforcement for American soft power and increase the likelihood of the United States' achieving its objectives. Soft power can be shared and used in a cooperative fashion. European promotion of democracy and human rights helps advance shared values that are consistent with American objectives. The Islamist extremists of AI Qaeda are fighting against Western values, not just American values, and European public diplomacy that counters their appeal is beneficial to the United States.
French political leaders have often talked about creating a multipolar balance of power, but many Europeans see such dreams as unrealistic in the current world situation. Most Europeans realize that multilateral diplomacy is possible even without a multipolar military balance, and they would be happy to share their soft power with the United States if we would be more consultative in our approach. As a sympathetic British observer put the point during the Iraq war, "Maddening contradictions have all along been at the heart of the willful destruction of the international security system during the past few months. The U.S. quest for untrammeled primacy is doomed. America's security and prosperity depend on its political influence as much as on its military might. The U.S. has been strong because it has been admired." In other words, the extent to which the growth of European soft power is an asset or a liability for the United States depends upon American policies and rests very much on America's own choices. European soft power can be used to help or hurt the United States, depending on how America behaves.
Asian countries also have impressive potential resources for soft power. The arts, fashion, and cuisine of Asia's ancient cultures have already had a strong impact on other parts of the world for centuries. But Asia also went through a period of relative decline as it lagged behind Western nations that went through the industrial revolution, and that cut into its influence. The Asian Development Bank has calculated that in 1820, at the beginning of the industrial age, Asia made up an estimated three-fifths of world product. By 1940, this had fallen to one-fifth, even though the region was home to three-fifths of world population. Rapid economic growth has brought that back to two-fifths today, and the bank speculates that Asia could return to its historical levels by 202 5,27 In the last two decades of the twentieth century, China, Asia's largest country, had high annual growth rates of 7 to 9 percent that led to a remarkable tripling of its GNP and enhanced its reputation and soft power. Nonetheless, even China has a long way to go, and faces many obstacles to its development. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the American economy was more than twice the size of China's. And, as a Singapore columnist observed, "When it comes to soft power, it will take much longer before it can make an impact close to what the V.S. enjoys now."
In the 1950s, the mention of Asia conjured up images of poverty and starvation. There was a brief political infatuation among some in the West in the 1960s with Nehru jackets and Maoist revolution, but it was relatively brief. As John Lennon sang at the height of the antiwar movement, "If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you're not going to make it with anyone anyhow." The real resurgence of Asia began with the economic success of Japan. Asians often refer to the image of geese flying in formation to describe the way that smaller countries like Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, and others closely followed Japan's strategy of targeting strategic industries for development, financing major projects, exporting fiercely, and protecting infant industries. One of Malaysia's economic planners has noted, "Japan's experience of rebuilding after the war, the way it got workers and management to cooperate and got the economy to grow in leaps and bounds, seems very Asian to us. It has much more relevance to our society than the experience of the West." Japan's personal income increased from 20 percent of the U. S. level in 1950 to 75 percent by the end of the century, a remarkable performance that not only made Japanese wealthy but also enhanced the country's soft power.
The Asian economic miracle helped support an ideology of Asian values that was often a convenient excuse for authoritarian leaders to maintain political stability. For example, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia resisted pressure for more democracy and human rights on the grounds that the West was trying to impose alien values that favor individual rights on an ancient culture where the highest value is placed on the welfare of society as a whole. Asian values became an assertion of regional identity by nations that had begun to flex their economic muscle and to develop their own political systems. But after the Asian economic crisis of 1997 and the consequent slowdown of growth in many countries in the region, other voices began to be heard. The New York Times reported, "Today, there is a slow, daily tug of war between the old-guard traditionalists-the former Asian values crowd-and the insurgents of an open society, who are developing a sort of indigenous version of Western values." Asian corporate models rested heavily on family relationships and connections to government that were opaque to outsiders. But, as The Economist observed, that "opacity costs money, as untrusting foreign investors demand bigger returns. And all Asian countries crave the cloak of international respectability from membership of the OECD club to the kudos of hosting the Olympic Games or World Cup." The Asian economic miracle was real and for a time generated soft power for the successful countries, but when it ran into trouble in the 1990s, it lost the clout to sustain the myth that it supported or resulted from Asian values.
Japan has more potential soft power resources than any other Asian country. It is the first non-Western country that was able to fully modernize to the point of equality with the West in income and technology while showing that it is possible to maintain a unique culture. Today Japan ranks...
●… first in the world in number of patents
●… third in expenditure on research and development as a percent of gross domestic product
●… third in international air travel
●… second in book sales and music sales
●… second in the number of Internet hosts
●… second in high-tech exports
●… first in development assistance
●… first for life expectancy
Japan is home to three of the top 25 multinational brand names, Toyota, Honda, and Sony. In the 1980s Japan derived considerable soft power from its manufacturing prowess. The writer Douglas McGray observed, "Seeking guidance on everything from 'quality circles' to 'just in time' inventory management, U.S. corporate executives bought stacks of books on Japanese management techniques."
The decade-long economic slowdown of the 1990S tarnished Japan's reputation for economic prowess, but it did not erase the nation's soft-power resources. "Instead of collapsing beneath its political and economic misfortunes," writes McGray, "Japan's global cultural influence has only grown. In fact, from pop music to consumer electronics, architecture to fashion, and food to art, Japan has far greater cultural influence now than it did in the 1980s when it was an economic superpower." Japanese manufacturers rule the roost in home video games. Japanese images dominated children's dreams quite handily over the last five years with their mix of cuteness and power. Pokemon cartoons are broadcast in 65 countries, and Japanese animation is a huge hit with American filmmakers and teenagers. Its style has spilled over into American design trends as well, Japan's popular culture was still producing potential soft-power resources even after its economy slowed down.
Japanese cultural attraction is not limited to its pop culture. Japan's traditional arts, design, and cuisine have long found followers outside the country. Authors like Nobel Prize-winning Kenzaburo Oe have wide international audiences. In film, Akira Kurosawa is considered one of the great directors of all time. In classical music, Seiji Ozawa, the former director of the Boston Symphony, is widely renowned. Japan also benefits from the cultural attractiveness of its traditional spiritual disciplines such as Zen Buddhism and the martial arts.
But there are also limits to Japan's soft power. Unlike Germany, which repudiated its past aggression and reconciled with its neighbors in the framework of the European Union, Japan has never fully come to terms with its record of foreign aggression in the 1930s. The residual suspicion that lingers in countries such as China and Korea sets limits on Japan's soft power. Japan does not have the full admiration of its Asian neighbors. A I996 Japanese poll that asked which features of Japanese culture were attractive found that 72 per-
cent of Chinese were interested in Japanese household appliances and 6 I percent in its style of business management, but only 11 percent in Japanese television, 5 percent in Japanese music, and 7 percent in the Japanese lifestyle. Similarly, a 200I Newsweek poll found that where 65 percent of Americans found Japan "admirable" and only 27 percent thought the Japanese "arrogant," a mere 34 percent of South Koreans found Japan admirable and 59 percent considered the Japanese arrogant.
Like Europe, Japan faces serious demographic challenges. By the middle of the twenty-first century Japan's population could shrink by 30 percent unless it attracts I7 million immigrants, a difficult task in a country that has been historically resistant to immigration. Moreover, the Japanese language is not widely spoken, and Japan's English language skills, according to one journalist, rank "among the worst in Asia, making it difficult to attract international talent to its universities." A recent Japanese prime minister's commission on the nation's goals in the twenty-first century called for a new reinvention of Japan. Given the weakness of the political process, the need for further deregulation, the aging of the population, and the resistance to immigration, such change will not be easy and may take more than a decade to complete. But given Japan's past record of twice reinventing itself-after the Meiji revolution in the nineteenth century and after World War II-plus the undiminished skills of Japan's people, the stability of its society, areas of technological leadership (for instance, mobile Internet applications), and manufacturing skills, it is not impossible.
A decade ago some observers thought the close collaboration of government and industry in Japan would give it a lead in soft power in the information age. Japan could develop an ability to manipulate perceptions worldwide instantaneously and "destroy those that impede Japanese economic prosperity and cultural acceptance." When Matsushita purchased the American motion picture company MCA, its president said that movies critical of Japan would not be produced. Japanese media tried to break into world markets, and the government-owned NHK network began satellite broadcasts in English. The venture failed, however, as NHK's reports seemed to lag behind those of commercial news organizations, and the network had to rely on CNN and ABC for content. This does not mean that Japan lacks soft-power resources. But Japan's culture remains much more inward-oriented than that of the U.S., and its government's unwillingness to deal frankly with the history of the 1930s continues to limit its ability to transform those resources into soft power in the sense of obtaining the policy outcomes it desires.
Further in the future, China and India loom as the giants of Asia, and there are already signs of the expansion of their soft-power resources. In 2000, the Chinese novelist Gao Xingjian won China's first Nobel Prize for literature, followed a year later by the Indian diaspora writer V. S. Naipaul. In June 1997, The New Yorker devoted an entire issue to fiction by Indian writers. The Chinese film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon became the highest-grossing non-English-language film, and Indian movies like Monsoon Wedding were box-office successes in the U.S.48 Yao Ming, the Chinese star of the National Basketball Association's Houston Rockets, could become another Michael Jordan, and China is set to host the 2008 Summer Olympics. China's investment in manned space flight also helps to increase its prestige and attraction. Large expatriate communities in the United States-z.4 million Chinese and 1.7 million Indians have increased interest in their home countries among Americans. Moreover, the transnational connections in the information industry are close, as U.S. high-tech companies increasingly employ affiliates in Bangalore or Chennai to provide real-time services here.
But the real promise for China and India still lies in the future. Rapid economic growth is likely to increase both countries' hard and soft power, but at this point, neither country ranks high on the various indices of potential soft-power resources that are possessed by the United States, Europe, and Japan. While culture provides some soft power, domestic policies and values set limits, particularly in China, where the Communist Party fears allowing too much intellectual freedom and resists outside influences. Both countries have a reputation for major corruption in government. India benefits from democratic politics, but still suffers from overly bureaucratized government. And the recent revival of Hindu extremism and the killing of Muslims in Gujarat has tarnished its democratic reputation. In foreign policy as well, both countries' reputations are burdened with the problems of longstanding conflicts, over Taiwan and Kashmir, respectively. Moreover, in the United States the attraction of an authoritarian China is limited by the concern that it could become a threat sometime in the future. The soft power of Asian countries is likely to increase in the future, but at this stage they lag in soft-power resources behind the United States and Europe.
Of course smaller countries both in Asia and other regions also enjoy soft power. South Korea and Thailand attract others through their economic and democratic progress. Thailand has even discovered that foreigners love Thai food, and its government set a goal of boosting the number of Thai restaurants overseas as a way to "subtly help to deepen relations with other countries." Soft power is available to all countries, and many invest in ways to use soft-power resources to "punch above their weight" in international politics. As we saw in chapter I, Norway has enhanced its attractiveness by clever policies even while remaining outside the EU. And for decades the most trusted countries in Europe have been the small countries of Switzerland, Scandinavia, and the Benelux group. For many countries, the constitutional ideas of Canada "have been disproportionately influential, perhaps more influential than those of the United States." South Africa is widely admired for its progress in overcoming racial apartheid peacefully, and Brazil projects a certain attraction both from its vibrant culture and its promise in the future. Even if they do not have the overall power resources to match the largest countries, smaller or less powerful countries still can present challenges greater than their military size would imply. And not only states can pose such challenges.
The information age has been marked by an increasingly important role of nonstate actors on the international stage. Private organizations increasingly cross national boundaries. This is not totally new, but the information revolution has led to a dramatic increase in scale in recent years, with the number of NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) increasing from 6,000 to approximately 26,000 during the 1990S alone. And the numbers do not tell the full story, because they represent only formally constituted organizations.
Many non governmental organizations claim to act as a "global conscience" representing broad public interests beyond the purview of individual states. They develop new norms directly by pressing governments and business leaders to change policies, and indirectly by altering public perceptions of what governments and firms should be doing. In terms of power resources, these new groups rarely possess much hard power (although it is worth noting that the budget of Greenpeace in 2001 was $157 million, compared to the $90 million budget of the intergovernmental World Trade Organization). In any event, the information revolution has greatly enhanced NGOs' soft power. Because they are able to attract followers, governments have to take NGOs into account as both allies and adversaries. From the American point of view, it is worth noting that Brussels, London, and Paris rank ahead of Washington and New York as host cities for international nongovernmental organizations.
Not only the number of transnational contacts but also the number of types of these organizations has increased. A few decades ago, large bureaucratic organizations with hefty budgets like multinational corporations or the Roman Catholic church were the most typical type of transnational organization. The soft power of corporate brand names has been familiar for decades. Such organizations remain important, but the reduced cost of communication in the Internet era has opened the field to loosely structured network organizations with little headquarters staff, and even to individuals. This is part of the democratization of technology that we discussed in chapter 1. These flexible nongovernmental organizations and networks are particularly effective in penetrating states without regard to borders. Because they often involve citizens who are well placed in the domestic politics of several countries, such networks are able to focus the attention of the media and governments on their issues. They create a new type of transnational political coalitions. For example, the coalition to ban land mines brought together NGOs, celebrities, and politicians in many countries.
The information revolution makes states more porous. Governments now have to share the stage with actors who can use information to enhance their soft power and press governments directly, or indirectly by mobilizing their publics. Given the power of credible editors and cue givers who can cut through the avalanche of available information in the Internet age, a rough way to gauge the increasing importance of transnational organizations is to look at the number of mentions that these organizations receive in mainstream media publications. By this measure, the biggest NGOs have become established players in the battle for the attention of influential editors. For example, after Human Rights Watch released its 2003 World Report, which included strong criticism of the U.S. government for its conduct in the war on terrorism, articles appeared in 288 newspaper and magazines over the next ten days mentioning the organization.
News coverage over the past decade has reflected the growth of this general sector; the use of the term "nongovernmental organization" or "NGO" has increased 17-fold since 1992. Not only Human Rights Watch but also other NGOs such as Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, Greenpeace, Doctors without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres), and Transparency International have undergone exponential growth in the number of their mainstream media mentions.
In the information age, governments that want to see rapid economic growth find that they can no longer maintain the barriers to information flows that historically protected officials from outside scrutiny. Even large countries with hard power, such as the United States, are affected. For example, a campaign by NGOs helped to scuttle a proposed Multilateral Agreement on Investment in the late 1990S, and NGOs used the Internet to plan the disruption of the World Trade Organization summit in 1999 that became known as the "battle of Seattle." The Pentagon opposed a treaty banning landmines, but a mixed coalition of Internet-based organizations working with middle-power governments such as Canada and individual politicians and celebrities such as Princess Diana was able to bring the treaty into existence in 1997. Another example is the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control that was ratified in May 2003 by the 192 members of the World Health Organization. The United States initially had strong objections to the treaty but dropped them in the face of international criticism.
A fascinating use of the Internet to wield soft power can be found in the politics of diaspora communities. David Bollier, an expert on the impact of digital technologies, notes, "The Internet has been a godsend to such populations because it enables large numbers of geographically isolated people with a shared history to organize into large virtual communities." The Internet enables them to present attractive alternative ideas to those back home. Internet connections between foreign nationals and local citizens helped to spark protests in Beijing against anti-Chinese riots taking place in Indonesia in 1998. The frustration of ethnic Chinese living in Indonesia was transferred to Beijing with remarkable speed. Similarly, in Zimbabwe, the Internet was crucial in spreading news about government actions during disputed elections.
One example of a diaspora group that has effectively used the Internet and other media sources to affect political outcomes in its home country is the Ghanaian expatriate community. In the elections of 2000, the first real opportunity for Ghanaians to change their government through democratic means, the diaspora network was crucial in mobilizing support and money for the opposition candidate. Online community networks such as the Ghana Cybergroup (GCG), established in 1999 in New York, mobilized the diaspora in the United States to aggressively campaign for regime change in Ghana. In 2000, GCG members were encouraged to "find every means (email, phone, etc) to communicate with their families at home to go out and vote" in the national elections. And now the GCG has refocused its mission on attracting development assistance for Ghana, and is in the process of establishing a network among the 2.5 million Ghanaian expatriates to increase the flow of capital to their home country.
Transnational corporations often are the target of NGO activities such as campaigns to "name and shame" companies that pay low wages to laborers in poor countries. Such campaigns sometimes succeed because they can credibly threaten to deprive the corporations of the soft power of their valuable global brand names. When Shell proposed deep-ocean disposal of its Brent Spar drilling rig, which allegedly would have polluted the ocean, Greenpeace organized a boycott campaign that forced Shell to opt for more costly dismantling on shore. Ironically, when it was later disclosed that the original Shell proposal was better for the environment, Greenpeace's reputation and soft power suffered. In any event, Shell decided that it had to increase its attention to NGOs: the company also recently announced that it would not drill in any spots designated UNESCO World Heritage sites. This decision came two years after Shell acceded to pressure from environmentalists and scrapped plans to drill in a World Heritage site in Bangladesh. Transnational drug companies were shamed by NGOs into giving up lawsuits in South Africa in 2002 over infringements of their patents on AIDS drugs because, the Financial Times reported, "demands for greater social responsibility from business are getting louder, better organized and more popular." Similar campaigns of naming and shaming have affected the investment and employment patterns of Mattel, Nike, and a host of other companies.
NGOs vary enormously in their organization, budgets, the accountability to their members, and their sense of responsibility for he accuracy of their claims. Their soft power varies accordingly. While some NGOs are more credible and trusted than governments, others are not. Overall, a recent poll in Europe found that 42 percent of Europeans tended to trust NGOs whereas 36 percent expressed distrust. In Britain and Germany, however, the number of those who distrusted NGOs exceeded those who trusted them. Thus it is hyperbole when activists call such organizations "the world's other superpower," but at the same time, governments ignore them at their peril. Some have reputations and credibility that give them impressive domestic as well as international political clout. Others may lack credibility among moderate citizens, but have organizational and communication skills that allow them to mobilize demonstrations that governments cannot ignore. Few international meetings can be planned today without consideration of the prospect of demonstrations. For better and for worse, NGOs and network organizations have soft-power resources and do not hesitate to use them.
For centuries, organized religious movements have possessed soft power. The Roman Catholic church is organized on a global scale, and many Catholics around the world adhere to its teachings on issues like birth control and abortion because of attraction, not coercion. Other religious organizations-among them Protestant, Islamic, and Buddhist-have extensive missionary efforts that have attracted millions of people to adhere to their teachings, particularly in Latin America and Africa in recent decades. But as we saw in the last chapter, intolerant religious organizations can repel as well as attract. In some circumstances aggressive proselytizing can destroy rather than create soft power.
Intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations or the World Trade Organization can also develop soft power. Strictly speaking, they are the creatures of the states that formed them, but the diplomacy within different organizations takes on characteristics that reflect the unique procedures and culture of the organization. Thus, for example, the reputation of the United Nations cannot be understood without contrasting the roles of the General Assembly (with its rhetoric) and the Security Council (with its vetoes), as well as the deference to regional caucuses that produces damaging aberrations such as Libya's chairing the Human Rights Commission. The personality and skill of the secretary-general can also affect the reputation of the organization. Like the pope, Kofi Annan commands few troops, but his popularity and position assure attention to his statements.
The UN is not the only source of legitimacy in world politics, but its universality, legal framework, and relative attractiveness do give its votes and pronouncements a considerable degree of legitimacy. The UN's reputation, and thus its soft power, is susceptible to changing political events. For example, the American decision to enter the Iraq War without a second Security Council resolution hurt the UN's as well as America's reputation and led majorities in 19 of 21 countries polled to say that the UN was no longer as important as it had been in dealing with international conflicts. On the other hand, over two-thirds in the U.S. and European populations still rate the UN favorably after the war. The overall reputation of the UN has fluctuated over the years. In Europe, post-Iraq War trust in the UN is below the trust level of 2002, but it remains comparable to the 1990s. In the United States, overall favorable ratings for the UN have rebounded to prewar levels after a brief dip. The UN's job approval rating in the United States was actually lower in the 1980s than before the Iraq War (28 percent in August 1985; 38 percent in March 2003) and hit its historic low during the Korean War (23 percent in May 1951). The attractiveness and soft-power resources of the UN vary over time and have limits, but governments cannot afford to ignore it without paying a price.
Soft power can also adhere to malevolent organizations and networks. Soft power depends on a receptive audience even if the eye of the beholder is evil. Transnational terrorist organizations like AI Qaeda may be repulsive to the majority of the world, but they are clearly attractive to some extremists. If the Soviet Union and Communism presented the most dangerous soft-power challenges to the United States in the Cold War era, today's greatest challenge comes from radical Islamist ideology and organizations. In particular, the fundamentalist Wahhabi sect, which originated on the Arabian peninsula in the eighteenth century, has been augmented by radical outgrowths of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, which arose in Egypt in the 1920S. Ironically, Sayyid Quttb, a key intellectual figure for radical Islamists, was a Muslim Brother who lived for a short time in the United States and was disgusted by what he considered the meaninglessness of American life. As noted before, culture that is attractive to many can be repulsive to some.
The rise of radical Islamism received a good deal of state help from Saudi Arabia, where the ruling family agreed to propagate Wahhabism as a means of propitiating the clerics, thus buying "their own political legitimacy at the cost of stability elsewhere." Because funding of Wahhabist institutions comes from both Saudi government ministries and private charities, it is virtually impossible to estimate the total spending. One expert testified to Congress that the Saudis had spent roughly $70 billion on aid projects since the 1970s, and others report that they sponsored 1,500 mosques and 2,000 schools worldwide from Indonesia to France. These institutions often displace more moderate and worse-funded institutions promulgating moderate interpretations of Islam. Even if these numbers are incorrect, a fraction of the dollar figures still dwarfs what the United States has spent on public diplomacy in the Muslim world.
Ironically, the soft power of Wahhabism has not proved to be a resource that the Saudi government could control or use to obtain favorable outcomes. Instead, it has been like a sorcerer's apprentice that has come back to bedevil its original creator. The radicals regard the royal family as corrupt and in league with Western infidels. They aim to overthrow or disrupt the government, and launched
terrorist attacks in Riyadh in 2003. The royal family's bargain with the Wahhabist clerics has backfired because the soft power of Islamic radicalism has flowed in the direction of Osama bin Laden and his goal of overthrowing the Saudi government, not in the direction of making the Saudi government more secure.
A snapshot of this situation was captured by a poll taken in a number of predominantly Muslim countries shortly after the Iraq War. Pluralities in Indonesia, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, and the Palestinian Authority said they had a lot or some confidence in Osama bin Laden to do the right thing regarding world affairs. In those same countries, vast majorities had more confidence in bin Laden than in George W. Bush or Tony Blair. Although it is not surprising that many Muslims had negative feelings about Bush and Blair in the aftermath of a war against a Muslim country, the fact that bin Laden inspired confidence sent a clear message to Americans about the soft power of its sworn enemy. Similar anecdotal evidence abounded in the fall of 2001 in the aftermath of 9/11, when reports came from Africa that "Osama" was now a popular name for baby boys, and from Pakistan, where bin Laden T-shirts were selling well. In part this may be a new twist in the long tradition of Robin Hood legends among the poor and disenfranchised, but it also represents deeper trends in Islamic opinion. Because the war on terrorism involves a civil war between radicals and moderates within Islamic civilization, the soft power of the Islamists is a disturbing symptom and a warning of the need for Americans and others to find better ways of projecting soft power to strengthen the moderates. Moderate churches and synagogues can play a role with moderate Muslims. In all three religions the prophet Abraham is a revered figure, and so the idea of an Abrahamic dialogue among Muslims, Christians, and Jews may be an example of the ways that nongovernmental actors can exercise their soft power and create bridges of understanding.
THE UNITED STATES is the world's only military superpower. It also remains the world's mightiest country in terms of economic and soft power, but America is not nearly as dominant in these two domains of power as in the military domain. The trends of the information age and the spread of democratization should benefit American soft power in the future, but they will also benefit Europe and other countries that are able to adapt to the new conditions. More problematically, the trends of the information age will increase the soft power of nonstate actors, both good and bad. To cope with a world in which the soft power of others is increasing, the United States will have to invest more in its own soft-power resources, and learn to wield its soft power more effectively.
Chương 3: Các Quyền lực mềm khác