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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)

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."



March 28, 2008

"Transformational Leaders Are Not Always Better"

Op-Ed, Christian Science Monitor

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"More than two centuries ago, the newly independent American colonists had a transformational leader in George Washington. Nonetheless, they invented a very different type of institutional leadership when James Madison and other transactional leaders negotiated the Constitution and later explained it in the Federalist Papers."



March 18, 2008

"America Must Learn the Hard Facts of Soft Power"

Op-Ed, The South China Morning Post

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"Soft power is not good per se, and it is not always better than hard power. Nobody likes to feel manipulated, even by soft power. But soft power allows followers more choice and leeway.

Hard power has not become irrelevant, but leaders must develop the contextual intelligence to combine hard and soft power resources into a "smart power" strategy. The next US president will need to learn that lesson."



AP Photos

March 14, 2008

"Judging the Capacity to Govern"

Op-Ed, The Boston Globe

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"...The rigors of our prolonged election campaign in a variety of state caucuses and primaries provide some clues about stamina and self discipline. Tears have destroyed some candidates in the snows of New Hampshire while helping others. How a candidate relates to his or her political party platform, while often derided, tells us something about independence and future appointments. But most important is biography.

While latter day conversions and acting can disguise character, an integrated life over time is the best source of clues about the authenticity of the next president's temperament and how he or she will govern."



March 14–March 20, 2008

"Hard vs Soft Power: Contenders in the US Presidential Race Must Respond to a Changed World"

Op-Ed, Nepali Times

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"The fact that the final three contenders in the US election race are a woman, an African-American, and an older man who often challenged his own party suggests that the United States, after a decline in popularity during the Bush years, retains some capacity to reinvent itself. But the next president will need to recognise that the nature of leadership also is changing."



March-April 2008

"Toward a Liberal Realist Foreign Policy: A Memo for the Next President"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, Harvard Magazine, issue 4, volume 110

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"On January 20, you will inherit a legacy of trouble: Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Palestine, North Korea for starters. Failure to manage any one of them could mire your presidency and sap your political support—and threaten the country’s future. At the same time, you must not let these inherited problems define your foreign policy. You need to put them in a larger context and create your own vision of how Americans should deal with the world."



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