The Information Revolution and American Soft Power
The explosion of information in the last decade has had more of a decentralizing than a centralizing effect on society, says Joseph S. Nye Jr., Don K. Price Professor of Public Policy and Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In the following article, Nye examines the possible effects of the information revolution on the domestic and foreign policies of governments, in particular the impact on soft power—the power of persuasion through ideas, cultures, and policies. Foreign policy will no longer be the sole province of governments as the centrality and functions of the sovereign state will change and political institutions will need to adapt to this brave new world. Nye concludes that the US has an edge in the current era of globalization but it should be careful not to negate the positive values of its soft power by acting unilaterally or arrogantly.
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