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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 Publication Type


Op-Ed (continued)

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."



February 13, 2008

"Europe's Power to Lead"

Op-Ed, Cypress Mail

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"European countries’ success in overcoming centuries of animosity, and the development of a large internal market, has given them a great deal of soft power. At the Cold War’s end, East European countries did not try to form local alliances, as they did in the 1920s, but looked toward Brussels to secure their future. Similarly, countries like Turkey and Ukraine have adjusted their policies in response to their attraction to Europe."



AP Photo

January 14, 2007

"Taiwan and Fear in US-China Ties"

Op-Ed, Taipei Times

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"The US has a broad national interest in maintaining good relations with China, as well as a specific human rights interest in protecting Taiwan's democracy. But the US does not have a national interest in helping Taiwan become a sovereign country with a seat at the UN, and efforts by some Taiwanese to do so present the greatest danger of a miscalculation that could create enmity between the US and China."



December 18, 2007

"Recovering America's 'Smart Power'"

Op-Ed, The Korea Times

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"Democracy, human rights, and the development of civil society do not come from the barrel of a gun. True, the American military has impressive operational capacity, but turning to the Pentagon because it can get things done creates an image of an over-militarized foreign policy."



AP Photo

December 10, 2007

"Stop Getting Mad, America. Get Smart"

Op-Ed, The Washington Post

By Richard Armitage and Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

" threats are no longer simply military threats. China is building two coal-fired power plants each week. U.S. hard power will do little to curb this trend, but U.S.-developed technology can make Chinese coal cleaner, which helps the environment and opens new markets for American industry

In a changing world, the United States should become a smarter power by once again investing in the global good — by providing things that people and governments want but cannot attain without U.S. leadership."



December 10, 2007

"Big Tent"

Op-Ed, The New Republic

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

" recent years, Qaddafi has appeared to be changing. He still wants to project Libyan power, but he is going about it differently than in decades past. Where once he had tried to bully and even overthrow governments to his south, now he is hosting peace talks on Darfur....Has Qaddafi really changed? It is difficult to know for sure.... his future actions will speak louder than any current words. But there is no doubt that he acts differently on the world stage today than he did in decades past."



November 28, 2007

"Don't Dismiss the Might of the UN"

Op-Ed, The Independent Financial Review, (New Zealand)

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"...the UN has considerable soft power that arises from its ability to legitimise the actions of states, particularly regarding the use of force. People do not live wholly by the word, but neither do they live solely by the sword. For example, the UN could not prevent the invasion of Iraq in 2003, but the absence of its imprimatur greatly raised the costs to the American and British governments."



November 14, 2007

"The Impressive—But Limited—Soft Power of the United Nations"

Op-Ed, Daily Star

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

"The UN has impressive power — both hard and soft — when states agree on policies under Chapter 7 of the Charter. It has modest but useful soft power when great powers disagree but are willing to acquiesce in a course of action. And it has very little power when the great powers oppose an action, or repressive member governments ignore the claims of the new "responsibility to protect." In such cases, it makes no sense to blame the UN. Soft power is real, but it has its limits. The fault lies not with the UN, but with the lack of consensus among member states."

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.