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Joseph S. Nye

Joseph S. Nye

Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Telephone: (617) 495-1123
Fax: (617)-496-3337



By Date


2008 (continued)

July 11, 2008

"Joseph Nye on Smart Power in Iran-U.S. Relations"


By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor and Kayhan Barzegar, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2010–2011; Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/international Security Program, 2007–2010

This interview elaborates on the applicability of Nye’s theory of “smart power” in the context of the Middle East and particularly Iran. The discussion further pushes the boundaries on how the current U.S policymakers should take into account soft and smart power towards Iran.

Nye: “… if the Americans, in efforts to try to stop the Iranian’s nuclear weapons program, were to bomb nuclear facilities in Iran, they might gain a few years of slowing down the nuclear weapons program but they would lose the whole generation of younger Iranians who would respond in a nationalistic way. So I think that would be a very large cost for a very limited benefit.”



July 3, 2008

"Joseph Nye on Smart Power"


By Doug Gavel and Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

The days of American hegemony on the world stage appear to be waning. The rise of other global powers, the diffusion of economic and human capital, and the increasingly powerful influences being exerted by non-state actors — including terrorists — have ushered in a new era in geopolitics. Joseph Nye is university distinguished service professor and Sultan of Oman professor of international relations. He is the author of many books and articles on international relations, including his most recent book, “The Powers to Lead.”



July 2008

Project on National Security Reform - Preliminary Findings


By Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities, David M. Abshire, Norman R. Augustine, Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill, Charles G. Boyd, Daniel W. Christman, General Wesley K. Clark, Former Senior Advisor, 2001-2009, Preventive Defense Project, Ruth A. David, Leon Fuerth, Newt Gingrich, James R. Locher III, James M. Loy, Jessica Tuchman Mathews, John McLaughlin, Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Carlos Pascual, Amb. Thomas R. Pickering, General Brent Scowcroft, Editorial Board Member, Quarterly Journal: International Security, Jeffrey H. Smith, Dr. James B. Steinberg and Ken Weinstein

The Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) - a bipartisan, private-public partnership sponsored by the Center for the Study of the Presidency - has released its preliminary findings on needed changes in the national security system (covering both international and homeland security). PNSR's goal is approval of a new system early in the next administration. It envisions three sets of reforms: new presidential directives or executive orders, a new national security act, and amendments to Senate and House rules.



AP Photo

June 11, 2008

"Balancing Asia's Rivals"

Op-Ed, The Korea Times

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"...Bush leaves behind a better legacy in Asia. American relations with Japan and China remain strong, and he has greatly enhanced the United States' ties with India, the world's second most populous country....Improved relations between India and the U.S. can structure the international situation in a manner that encourages such an evolution in Chinese policy, whereas trying to isolate China would be a mistake.

Handled properly, the simultaneous rise of China and India could be good for all countries."



AP Photo

May 12, 2008

"Future of Japan-US Alliance"

Op-Ed, The Korea Times

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"The U.S. regards a triangular Japan-China-U.S. relationship as the basis of stability in East Asia, and wants good relations between all three of its legs. But the triangle is not equilateral, because the U.S. is allied with Japan, and China need not become a threat to either country if they maintain that alliance....a wise policy combines realism with liberalism. By reinforcing their alliance, the U.S. and Japan can hedge against uncertainty while at the same time offering China integration into global institutions as a "responsible stakeholder."



May 10, 2008

"Hillary and the Gender Wars"

Op-Ed, Newsweek

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"Hillary Clinton's tenacious presidential campaign—holding on after the pundits have declared her finished—has focused attention on the important issue of women and leadership. From her unexpected tears in New Hampshire in February to her expertise on defense to her dogged refusal to cave under pressure, Clinton is challenging old stereotypes and sparking a national conversation on a key question: does gender still matter when it comes to picking the president? The old stereotypes maintain that men favor the hard power of command, while women are more collaborative and intuitively understand the soft power of attraction. Most Americans still tend to describe leadership in traditionally male terms. But studies show that successful leadership may now require what was once considered a "feminine" style...."



May 6, 2008

"The Mystery of Political Charisma"

Op-Ed, Wall Street Journal

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"Followers are more likely to attribute charisma to leaders when they feel a strong need for change, often in the context of a personal, organizational or social crisis. For example, the British public did not see Winston Churchill as a charismatic leader in 1939, but a year later, his vision, confidence and communications skills made him charismatic in the eyes of the British people, given the anxieties they felt after the fall of France to the Nazis and the Dunkirk evacuation. Yet by 1945, when the public turned from winning the war to building the welfare state, Churchill was voted out of office. His charisma did not predict his defeat. The change in voters' needs was a better predictor....Barack Obama's charisma is in the eyes of his followers. Voters should be aware that charisma tells them something about a candidate, but even more about themselves, the mood of the country, and their desire for change."



AP Photo

April 15, 2008

"Good Leaders Must Avoid 'Emperor's Trap'"

Op-Ed, New Straits Times

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"Good leaders must manage their inner circle of advisers to ensure an accurate flow of information and influence. They must avoid the "emperor's trap" of hearing only about the beauty of their new clothes. Ironically, George W. Bush, the first president with an MBA, was weaker on this dimension than his father, who knew how to manage an able group of advisers."



April 1, 2008

"Good Leadership is Deciding How to Decide"

Op-Ed, Financial Times

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"The US president described his leadership style as having three core components: outline a vision, build a strong team and delegate much of the process to them. His decision-making on Iraq, however, has been criticised for the grandiosity of his vision, failure to manage the divisions in his team and failure to monitor the delegation of decisions. Without contextual intelligence, being a "decider" is not enough."



AP Photo

March 30, 2008

"Is Bush Our Woodrow Wilson?"

Op-Ed, Los Angeles Times

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"Bush and Wilson have many similarities. Both were highly religious men who came to office without any foreign policy experience and who responded to a crisis — Wilson to World War I, Bush to 9/11 — with a bold, moralistic vision. Wilson vowed to make the world safe for democracy, and Bush tried to transform the Middle East by imposing democratic government on Iraq. Many of Bush's speeches about promoting democracy abroad could have been given by Wilson. The expressed ideals in both men's proposed visions of changing other countries were unachievable given our nation's capacities."

Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.