The USA: Hard Strength and Soft Power
Published by: The Al Jazeera Center for Studies
First Edition: Qatar, 2008
Number of pages: 88
As Mortimer J. Adler once wrote, “In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”
“The USA: Hard Strength and Soft Power” is a book that certainly “gets through” to the reader, broadening their understanding of our current international framework and the exercise of power on the global stage through a variety of subtle and not-so-subtle mechanisms.
Thebook addresses the reality of American “soft power”(a concept developed by Joseph Nye)and its relationship to the phenomenon of the vast hegemony that the United States has enjoyed since the end of the Second World War. It also presents an overview of the changes on the international scene, particularly after the rise of the neo-conservatives to the White House and how they contrived to expandAmerican influence in the international arena.
The book highlightsperceptions of American strength and dominance on the part of various nations worldwide. It also seeks to deepen understanding of the foundations of this power, and factors behind itsgrowth and its vacillation between softness and hardness, as well as its relationshipwith strategic interests and their impact on international relations.
The book provides various examplesof the manifestations of American hegemony and its mechanisms and instruments for dealing with crises and international tensions and their implications forworldwide perceptionsof this power.