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Capturing Power Shift in East Asia: Toward an Analytical Framework for Understanding “Soft Power”
Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Tactical Warfare Division, Land Operations Section. Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5426-8238
2020 (English)In: Asian Perspective, ISSN 0258-9184, E-ISSN 2288-2871, Vol. 44, no 3, p. 353-382Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mainstream International Relations (IR) theory has problems fully accounting for the regional dynamics of East Asia. This article explores whether the pursuit of soft power—a concept that has been given a prominent position in research on East Asian IR—can provide one piece of the puzzle for understanding East Asia’s regional dynamics. This article proposes an analytical framework for analyzing soft power that problematizes the rigid soft power/hard power binary. The framework proposes a way to understand soft power and the hard-soft spectrum of behavior that allows for the inclusion of economic power while still drawing a line between hard and soft power, where not all economic power is soft, but nor is it all hard. It is argued that to keep the concept of soft power relevant in the East Asian context economic power needs to be included. The line is drawn between economic coercion and economic inducement, arguing that when induced there is still a certain level of freedom as one can choose whether the payments or bribes offered are good enough for it to be worthwhile to change one’s preference and behavior. Coercion, in contrast, utilizes a different dynamic where the point is to force someone to do something they are unwilling to do.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 44, no 3, p. 353-382
Keywords [en]
soft power, power, China, East Asia, diplomacy
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-9426DOI: 10.1353/apr.2020.0016ISI: 000588438000001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-9426DiVA, id: diva2:1466729
Funder
Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, MMW 2013.0162Available from: 2020-09-13 Created: 2020-09-13 Last updated: 2021-09-23Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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