The Future of Power

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9781586488918: The Future of Power

In the era of Kennedy and Khrushchev, power was expressed in terms of nuclear missiles, industrial capacity, numbers of men under arms, and tanks lined up ready to cross the plains of Eastern Europe. By 2010, none of these factors confer power in the same way: industrial capacity seems an almost Victorian virtue, and cyber threats are wielded by non-state actors. Politics changed, and the nature of power defined as the ability to affect others to obtain the outcomes you want had changed dramatically. Power is not static; its story is of shifts and innovations, technologies and relationships.

Joseph Nye is a long-time analyst of power and a hands-on practitioner in government. Many of his ideas have been at the heart of recent debates over the role America should play in the world: his concept of "soft power" has been adopted by leaders from Britain to China; "smart power” has been adopted as the bumper-sticker for the Obama Administration's foreign policy. This book is the summation of his work, as relevant to general readers as to foreign policy specialists. It is a vivid narrative that delves behind the elusive faces of power to discover its enduring nature in the cyber age.

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About the Author:

Joseph S. Nye, Jr. is University Distinguished Service Professor and former Dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He has served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Chair of the National Intelligence Council, and a Deputy Under Secretary of State. The author of many books, he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the British Academy, and the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Review:

Finacial Times, March 6, 2011
“An illuminating distillation of the power relationships shaping a world in which the state with the best military can lose to the adversary with the better story...Nye makes sense of these new complexities.”
 Washington Times, April 5, 2011 “Nye’s writing style is accessible even when his subject grows more complex.... A helpful primer to better understand the tools available to those formulating America’s foreign policy.”

Foreign Affairs
, March/April 2011
“Nye is the preeminent theorist of power in world affairs today, and this book is a grand synthesis of his ideas and an essential guide to the debate over the decline of the United States and the rise of China.”
 LA Times, March 25, 2011“Whether it's navigating the political waves of the Middle East or the diplomatic dance with China, the book offers a generous batch of insights.... Nye is a savvy and respected analyst, and he doesn't disappoint here. He's grappling with the hardest of questions, and though The Future of Power can at times read somewhat meanderingly, it's the best kind of meandering: a learned journey through big ideas of what power means and how it is ever-evolving.”

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