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date: 19 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article begins with a discussion of the concept of power. It then turns to the dominant classical approach to international affairs, called ‘realism’, which portrays the world in terms of sovereign states aiming to preserve their security, with military force as their ultimate instrument. This is followed by a discussion of soft power and smart power. Smart power is defined as the ability to combine hard- and soft-power resources into effective strategies. Unlike soft power, it is an evaluative concept as well as a descriptive concept. Soft power can be good or bad from a normative perspective, depending on how it is used. Smart power has the evaluation built into the definition.

Keywords: diplomacy, power, realism, international relations, soft power, smart power

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