Edited by Yasushi Watanabe
Chapter 13: Soft power after Nye: the neoliberal international order and soft power learning
Discussion of soft power in international relations has been centred around soft power capacities of individual countries. Such discussion, although significant in understanding the leadership and followership of countries, has limited our understanding and imagination of soft power relations to the country level. This chapter, therefore, tries to move the level of analysis up to the systemic level, and investigate the soft power pillar or attractiveness of the current international order, known as the liberal international order. The author argues that if an international order per se is attractive and such systemic soft power persists, countries within the order will stick to the order regardless of changes in the hard power balance of power. At the same time, the author argues that as hard power can be imported, soft power can also be imported by learning. That opens the possibility that China can rapidly catch up with the Western liberal countries in its soft power capacity.
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