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Old November 19th, 2012, 11:04 AM   #11

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Of course the UK is the top of the soft power league, we spent a century ruling the world and telling everyone how lucky they were to have us in charge. it appears some of them believed us.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 06:37 PM   #12

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Especially soft power... Doesn't the use of hard power diminish soft power?
According to Roosevelt: "speak softly and carry a big stick", I would say one complements the other.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 06:41 PM   #13

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That alone does not indicate a country's 'soft power' though. The way I understand the concept, soft power is about the power a country exerts via its cultural reach/presence, influencing others in terms of ideas, innovations, etc. America with its Hollywood, fast food, and the biggest corporates in the world is clearly at the top. Britain is also at near top because of the influence it has had worldwide (the English language, its literature, its rock music, etc.). Sweden does not bring to mind anything on a similar scale.

Or it is possible that I'm misinformed about the idea of 'soft power'.
That makes two of us, used to think hard power is going to war soft power diplomacy.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 10:18 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rosi View Post
That alone does not indicate a country's 'soft power' though. The way I understand the concept, soft power is about the power a country exerts via its cultural reach/presence, influencing others in terms of ideas, innovations, etc. America with its Hollywood, fast food, and the biggest corporates in the world is clearly at the top. Britain is also at near top because of the influence it has had worldwide (the English language, its literature, its rock music, etc.). Sweden does not bring to mind anything on a similar scale.

Or it is possible that I'm misinformed about the idea of 'soft power'.
What about the internet? Statistics about Sweden are very attractive and we are finding about them through the net
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Old November 19th, 2012, 10:38 PM   #15
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What about the internet? Statistics about Sweden are very attractive and we are finding about them through the net
Scandinavia is a very attractive place, I agree with you. But power means exerting an influence on somebody, usually to get what you want. Is Sweden doing that? Or has it been doing that? I don't know, but I don't think it has been, at least not to the extent that others have been.

The internet is a great help in discovering new worlds and people but as of now countries with the top recall are still the U.S. and the UK. An American movie trailer on YouTube will garner a lot more hits than those of most other places, even if the majority of those hits are coming from the Americans themselves. That's a case of popularity building on popularity, which is a big component of soft power. It has nothing whatsoever to do with quality, mind you. You could live in a country that hates America and yet your kids could dance enthusiastically to the tunes of their pop stars, eat at MacD's for lunch, wear Nike or Levi's, and use endless Americanisms in their language. That's soft power for you.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 01:12 AM   #16

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I think that is correct summation of them, Rosi. Soft power, is buying those items in the market, loving the music, the movie and dance moves. Well, I think indie rock and rave is British in origin, so there might be some truth in the survey, lol.
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