With Super powers such as USA and Europe governing the resources of the world and controlling economic development of other nations through governing a global empire, not so dominant Asian countries are on the rise, not politically much but via the innovation, consumerism and strong values they possess in terms of culture and tradition. Such countries are India and China, which through the means of an increasingly becoming influential power ‘soft power.’ enhancement of soft power is regarded as how legitimate policies and cultures are perceived by others. Achievement of these powers has been diversified and adopted through use of major channels including: force and coercion in military and economic fields like the U.S., lower dimensions like use of international crime, contagious diseases and climate change strategies, soft dimensions in cultural and economic dimensions like Japan, European Union and most notably China. Other nations have adopted the use of hybrid of both soft and hard power a strategy termed as “Smart Power”. Unlike the U.S., China has utilized the soft power approach to achieve its international goal, which has been mostly inclined to the use of hard power and especially military and economic might. China’s influence has been concentrated on its favorable cultural styles, foreign policies which are regarded legitimate and command moral authority, and political values which have been held both at home and abroad. China’s institutions, governance, and administrative approaches have been attractive to other players in the international frontier gathering respect and worth of emulations. In Mira Kamdar’s (2009) lecture entitled “On the Issues”, she defined soft power is the ability to influence other people or nations without payment or coercion, but rather through attraction using their culture, history, music and other activities in order to achieve what one wants. Soft power is not about domination or fear. This form of power places the force of attraction center-stage and uses it as an anchor to gain power. The question is how can this power give a country influence over the rest of the world. The question can be answered considering several aspects of soft power and a country like India is progressing in the economy of the world through its various attractive elements that are not dominating in the eyes of the politicians of the Super Powers but are powerful nonetheless as they are increasingly capturing the attention of center of attraction of many audiences around the world. The main objectives of this thesis paper is to explore the concept of soft power in the context of India, whether soft power is an alternative to hard power or political or economic power,
India’s Soft Power’s Influence on the World
The rise and fall of nations all over the world has been seen by the 20th century in the terms of social, economic and political competence. India is one of those nations which had rose from poverty, political volatility and be deficient in the appropriate social structures. Before the late 1980s and 1990s according to Daniel Lak, India was structured by poverty, poor political policies and a general lack of appropriate economic and social structures which could play a role in dealing with poverty and other problems within its boundaries .India had prospered because of the proper reforms and plenty confidence to apply them in the Indian society. While in the past the nations used to employ hard power as a way of achieving what they wanted, soft power is slowly but progressively taking over a way of getting what a nation desires both inside its boundaries and outside its boundaries. We are in the era of globalization where the stance on any issue will have an ultimate effect on other issues as well. The economic world is in severe distress due to high unemployment, and the shadows of the current economic crisis are still over the heads of the major economies. There are a small number of economies who prevented themselves from the severity of the current economic crisis. India and China are the two countries who have been least affected from the brutality of the current economic downturn. The main prospective of this study is quite straightforward as we want to pen down the soft power of India.
Soft power is the ability to gain support for what a nation requests through co-option and attraction. It is in contradistinction to 'hard dominance', which is the use of coercion and payment. Soft power is akin in substance but not matching to a combination of the support dimension (agenda location) and the third dimensions (or the radical dimension) of dominance as expounded by Steven Lukes in Power a Radical View. Soft influence can be wielded not just by states, but by all actors in international politics, such as NGO's or international institutions. The idea of attraction as a form of state did not originate with Joseph Nye (co-founder of the international relations theory) or Steven Lukes (a political and social theorist from New York University), but can be traced back to ancient Chinese philosophers such as Laozi in the 7th century BC. The fresh development of that idea dated back only to the dead 20th century.
The 21st century is touted to be the Asian age, belonging to China and India. The ends of the Cold War, as well as changes of globalization, are making India redefine its position and add tasks both at the regional and macro equal side. Since the monetary liberalization of the 1990s, which front to progress charge of 6-7 percent, India's overall company has been steadily evident. Two issues are shaping India’s ascent: the share it has garnered as the world’s foremost democracy and its growing monetary rank which will affect its emergence as a key financial driver of the future. India, the acknowledged guide of the South, is transcending that position to play a larger inclusive role, a development both the United States and the European Union (EU) certified in their respective Strategic Partnerships with India. Nevertheless, this is an ongoing handle, not a pointer, and so it is important to scan the financial standards the new and evolving India endorses in the arena of macro governance (multilateralism, following and monetary morals and international guarantee).
To assess where India is headed nowadays, it is important to look at the time immediately after independence in 1947, especially the first 10-15 existence. India was active with its supple state accost and played a significant role in the decolonization route. The country was also active in international institutions like the United Nations as well as in leading the Non-Aligned Movement. This was due to Jawaharlal Nehru’s, India’s first Prime Minister, prophecy of India- a mixture of the realist and the romantic that as a big country with a long civilization chronicle, India was not just a regional but also an international nation. However, India’s unknown cold circumscribed procedure choices. War politics defined its political, lucrative, and wellbeing relations with other states. Politically, India views itself as a responsible nuclear dominance that distinguishes itself from other nations such as Pakistan, which has not been a basis of nuclear proliferation. Its long-seized democracy chronicle and its internal hostility against terrorism have found character among both Europeans and Americans. In the significance of 9/11, India was sprightly to suggest over escaping rights and bases to the U.S., which signaled its new intent in an exotic document. This offer acknowledged that India was engaging the U.S. differently, a significant pace in the light of the hard India-U.S. bilateral relationship throughout the Cold War. Asia has many players and contenders to be its principal both regionally and globally. From within the locality, China, India and Japan are the key actors, while the U.S. is the most dominant unlikely stakeholder in the province, followed by Russia.
Soft state gives India several profits. The most prominent promote which the country has earned is the economic help. The country has usual international recognition and several trade opportunities from their alliance partners like the U.S., China, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Now the country has emerged as the 3rd leading economy in Asia, purely because of the sophisticated limp control they have.
In a globalize world, just as India engages the world, India is also being engaged by the world. The most dramatic transformation has been in the India-U.S. relationship. Freeing from Cold War oratory, these two countries have stirred from being ‘separated democracies’ to ‘engage democracies’. The new drive in the India-U.S. relationship is so profoundly different that the U.S., for the first time in its bilateral relation with India, is engaging it as utterly de-hyphened from Pakistan. Second, it is pursuing a Strategic Partnership with India that endorses India’s present and hope latent for the county and the world. Third, the India-U.S. Civil Nuclear Deal de facto recognizes India as a nuclear strength and has held for its exemptions from the tide nuclear regime. Due to the melodious brawn of India, the country becomes able to draw a large total of investors towards their movies and then with the martial. India has done extraordinary labors to strengthen their military potential by making different and sophisticated weapons with the strategic collaboration with other countries.
The use of soft power as opposed to hard power in India over the last decade has been one of the factors that have contributed to the massive growth of social, economic ,and political infrastructure .In reference to Lak in the year 2009 the use of attraction and co-operation within the infrastructure of India has contributed greatly to the growth of Indian power and influence in world economic and political circles (Lak p.4).Where as there are a lot of models of expanding the one's economy. The current world depends heavily on attraction of people, resources ,knowledge and skills and technologies etc. As a way of developing an environment which is appropriate for growth rather than using force. As a result of mastering the strategies of soft power ,India has been able to accumulate for its power that is significant not only inside its boundaries but also over the globe. Correspondingly it is important for one to understand that after the end of colonial region, especially in the twentieth century soft power has continued and will continue to be a force in the social, economic, and political world. Most of growth of India has been championed by democracy that continues to take the centre stage in world's politics by positioning soft power as an important factor for the future benefit.
In spite of the fact that in the last several days India had benefited clearly by its mastery of soft power. Soft power is not the only option for dealing with all of the challenges that it has faced as one of the growing economies and potential super powers .To start in on with there has been the crises of ownership over Kashmir between Pakistan ,China, and India that had a prolonged existence. The conflict of Kashmir had necessitated the use of hard power for affirming the presence of India in this region even as Pakistan and China had fought to continue holdings over the regions shich they had controlled in Kashmir. In this regard , need of democracy in China and poor democratic structures in Pakistan had undermined the use of democracy in the form of soft power in dealing with this argument (Lak pg. 15).
Soft power may be defined as the use of attraction and co-option in the order of obtaining what the one needs to have development in a particular community as opposite to the use of force, payments, and coercion in achieving what the one needs .India has been able to utilize the advantages of soft power inside the boundaries for the attraction of investors and foreign currency ,technology ,knowledge and skills and other components which are quite necessary for its progress. In the regard of this the Indian movies and film industries had been growing at a fast rate and attracting not only audiences from outside India ,but the actors and artists as well .In the same way Indian fashion and food had intermingled with the culture and religion continues to be a center of attraction to foreign investment and profit. In regard to this literature, there is an embracing of foreign languages such as English that had worked as a way of educating the world concerning India, a factor which had acted positively in disseminating knowledge about India ,its culture ,life styles and investment opportunities. This implementation of the other languages is also an another way of achieving knowledge and skills from advanced English speaking nations such as the UK and the US through further studies (LAK,pg.172).
On the other hand ,India and China vary completely in their economic ,social and political approaches to prosperity across the globe .Recent events reveal that China too has been trying to employ the strategies of soft power in its approach to attract wealth and power. How ever since China is not a democracy ,it lacks the necessary mechanism to attract the wealth that dwells in the hand of western democracies .For example ,the China olympics in 2008 had failed to attract and retain investors from the western world due to fear among them of China's communist status .Similarly, countries such as the United States percieve China and India as iwo forces , one democratic and the other one a communist and would side with India if given an option due to its democratic status.
It is important to understand that the United States has also extensively employed the use if soft power ,especially in Europe with the exception of Russia. This has included an environment of assurance and safety among European countries, making it easier for them to invest heavily in the U.S .As a result of which the economy of U.S has propelled by making it the world's largest economy .India has the opportunity to continue growing and moving closely in the footsteps of the U.S ,eventually making it a super power as well (Lak,pg.101).
Where as nations in the past had employed hard power as a way of obtaining what they wanted ,soft power is slowly but steadily taking over as a way of getting what a nation wants both with in and outside its boundaries .It can be said that India has emerged among the most powerful nations in Asia ,with a potential of growing even more. This can be attributed to its use of soft power in approaching the rest of the globe .How ever there are limitations of soft power especially in addressing disputes across the globe. Nevertheless ,the fact that potential relations in the future will depend heavily on soft power as a way of growing into an influential nation can not be undermined.
India's Growth Economically, Politically, Militarily
India has been experiencing a steady growth rate in recent years due to its soft power policies and strategies .This high rate of economic growth means that India has become one of the most attractive destinations for foreign investments as noted from the high returns rates of over 38.6% .In his book "The Elephant, The Tiger, and the Cell phone", Tharoor stated that these positive rates will continue to be observed in the years to come arguing that the healthy economy has been due to structural rather than cyclical growth increases .Indeed the rate of growth has been constantly increasing since 1991. The reason for this is not hard to discern and can be attributed to India embracing the doctrines of "soft power".
According to the Shashi Tharoor (2008) "India's soft power is on the rise; for example Bollywood films are enjoying a great international audience" .Soft power in this context referred to "India's ability to manage diversity in the age of globalization resulting in the rise of its soft power internationally, especially among the neighboring countries"(Tharoor,pg.70). The domestic and social political organization of India at its present state can be analyzed through an assessment of the governance and its civil society. The first instances this analyzation can be viewed through an observation of the fact that India is the world's largest electoral democracy .It should also be seen that the current administration of India has embraced the US India strategic partnerships and has continued pursuing similar partnerships with Russia ,China and the rest of the ASEAN countries .
An analysis of the present political climate in India would indicate that the government is stable and that the administration has so far been "adept at handling both the domestic and international affairs amicably enough" (Tharoor, pg.29). It has been pointed out that the major challenge facing this administration is how to continue driving the economy and improve the social economic indices of the nation .Tharoor had noted in his book, this has so far been effective enough ,albeit necessitating the injection of new initiatives such as building good relations with foreign super powers .The aformentioned initiatives have been pursued with vigor and Zeal as India seeks to bolster its geopolitical standing and advance its economic and security interests .As Tharoor (2008) stated that the international political drivers of the national powers of India are currently well positioned to propel the country forward towards the attainment of its regional as well as global political quests (Tharoor ,pg.379). In simple words he was saying that India's government officials are taking their national power and using it to push India to become the world's leader .By incorporating its foreign policy with its soft power strategies ,India can pursue its goal of being a global influence.
It has been noted that the current relations between India and the US are molded on the convergences of joint perceptions of threats from terrorism, religious fundamentalisms ,weapons of mass destruction and the US desire to maintain harmonious relations with India so as to better maintain peace and security .(Tharoor, pg .402). These relations have been advanced especially following the 11th September attacks as both countries sought to tackle terrorism and promote global peace.
India has been experiencing a steady growth rate in recent years due to its soft power policies and strategies.. This high rate of economic growth means that India has become one of the most attractive destinations for foreign investments as noted from the high return rates of over 38.6%. In his book “The Elephant, The Tiger, and the Cellphone”, Tharoor stated that these positive rates will continue to be observed in the years to come, arguing that the healthy economy has been due to structural rather than cyclical growth increases. Indeed, the rate of growth has been constantly increasing since 1991. The reason for this is not hard to discern, and can be attributed to India embracing the doctrines of “soft power”.
According to Shashi Tharoor (2008), "India's soft power is on the rise; for example, Bollywood films are enjoying a great international audience” (pg. 79). Soft power in this context refers to “India's ability to manage diversity in the age of globalization resulting in a rise of its soft power internationally, especially among the neighboring countries” (Tharoor, pg. 70). The domestic and social-political organization of India at its present state can be analyzed through an assessment of the governance and its civil society. The first instances this analyzation can be viewed through an observation of the fact that India is the world’s largest electoral democracy. It should also be seen that the current administration of India has embraced the US-India strategic partnerships and has continued pursuing similar partnerships with Russia, China and the rest of the ASEAN countries.
An analysis of the present political climate in India would indicate that the government is stable and that the administration has so far been “adept at handling both the domestic and international affairs amicably enough” (Tharoor, pg. 29). It has been pointed out that the major challenge facing this administration is how to continue driving the economy and improve the social-economic indices of the nation. Tharoor noted in his book, this has so far been effective enough, albeit necessitating the injection of new initiatives such as building good relations with foreign superpowers. The aforementioned initiatives have been pursued with vigor and zeal as India seeks to bolster its geopolitical standing and advance its economic and security interests. As Tharoor (2008) stated, “The international political drivers of the national powers of India are currently well positioned to propel the country forward towards the attainment of its regional as well as global political quests” (Tharoor, pg. 379). In simple words, Tharoor was saying that India’s government officials are taking their national power and using it to push India to become a world leader. By incorporating its foreign policy with its soft power strategies, India can pursue its goal of being a global influence.
It has been noted that the “current relations between India and the US are molded on the convergences of joint perceptions of threats from terrorism, religious fundamentalisms, weapons of mass destruction and the United States desire to maintain harmonious relations with India so as to better maintain peace and security” (Tharoor, pg. 402). These relations have been advanced especially following the September 11th attacks, as both countries sought to tackle terrorism and promote global peace. It has also been noted that India’s strong democracy, political institutions, economic resurgence, and huge business and market potential have played an immense part in promoting the relations between the two nations, witnessing a shift in the U.S.’s perception of India.
Several convergences in interests between the two nations can be more specifically observed in numerous fronts. “The cooperation between the U.S. and India on security matters has also increased positively since the year 2001, taking a turn for the better and following the signing of the US-India Defense Relationship in the year 2005 to reflect common principles and shared national interests between the two nations” (Tharoor, pg. 398).
Many analysts view the continued India-US cooperation as thinly veiled attempts to contain the growing China hegemony in the Asian region, although both countries have been quick to refute such claims. Nonetheless, both nations have performed joint military exercises and there have been an increase in the sale of military equipment to India from the United States.
Relations between China and India, have according to many analysts, been progressing at relatively steady rate in the recent years. The bilateral trade and economic ties have improved significantly as the two nations seek to find a solution to contentious issues rather amicably. Indeed, associations in the international arena can also be discerned as the two nation’s strive to counter issues like terrorism, energy, and maritime security. It would in-fact appear that the relations are headed for the better, as witnessed from the visit of President Hu Jintao in 2006 that resulted in the signing of 13 agreements seen as an attempt to further future cooperation. However, few issues still remain problematic.
The major areas of contestation have mostly come from China’s view and perceptions on India’s “Look-East” Policy and soft power. India’s “Look-East” Policy represents its efforts to cultivate extensive economic and strategic relations with nations of Southeast Asia in order to bolster its standing as a regional power and a counterweight to the strategic influence of the People’s Republic of China. It can be seen that trade between the two nations grew by more than $11.4 billion in the first quarter in 2007, and it has been projected that the two will double their trade every year to reach a high figure of more than $40 billion a year by 2010 (Tharoor, pg.99).
The main issues of the relationship between India and China largely stem from border conflicts and China –Pakistan relations that may not be of immediate effect on the United States. These border conflicts and China-Pakistan relations however, extended to encompass the wider Asian-Pacific region. Here the two may very well be at a variance, more so following the growing India’s influence, which is a direct attribute of its Look- East policies, soft power policies, and the accompanying implications.
The United States has been acknowledging the likely emergence of both China and India in recent years. However, China has not overtly acknowledged the growing power status of India. “As late as 1998, there was an asymmetry in mutual perceptions of each other’s geopolitical standing between China and India” (Tharoor, pg. 422). It is only in recent years that China is coming to terms with the fact that India is becoming a significant power, as seen from its growth in national economy and increased multilateral partnerships with other countries. Most notably of these interactions are the growing associations with countries in East Asia and the Pacific as a consequence of its Look-East policies, and the application of its influence brought forward by soft power.
The Components of Soft Power of India
The attraction that soft power allows a country to capture is achieved through various aspects of Indian culture, language, literature, and even governmental policies (Singh, H., 2009). The Indian culture has spread all around the world. From Bollywood movies to Indian cuisine, People all around the world, regardless of their race, have welcomed the Indian culture. India’s foreign policies have played a big role in using soft power to help out other countries. Helping out civilians in Afghanistan with things such as building a 202 Kilometer transmission line to deliver electricity to certain areas was a big example of how India has been using its soft power instead of military power to help other countries (Pant, 2009). Along with government power, India has influenced the world with its literature. English poets and novelists have followed many Indian writers since the 18th century.
Kamdar (2009) points out that the rise of Indian-English literature is the cornerstone of the Indian culture. Indian-English literature has showcased rare talent. Indian novelists such as R K Narayan, Mulk Raj, and Raja Rao were prime examples of English literature becoming a big part of the Indian culture. Indian authors, poets, dramatists and novelists have used this avenue to contribute to world literature since the pre- independence era. This has led Indian English Writers to being featured on numerous bestseller lists as well as being recipients of numerous awards and accolades. Examples of these writers are Anand, R.K. Narayan, Anita Desai and many more. They have contributed largely to the development of Indian Culture. (Kamdar, 2009)
Indian food has also become increasingly popular in the U.S. with not only Indian restaurants readily accessible, but assortments of Indian foods in local grocery stores. Indian cuisine carries the day in many restaurants and hotels. In England, Indian curry houses employ more people than the iron and steel, coal, and shipbuilding industries combined (Tharoor, 2009). Here in the U.S., General Mills, a long time player in the international market, even began offering frozen Indian flatbreads known as “roti” four years ago, boasting the famous Pillsbury Doughboy logo. The popularity of Indian cuisine is more than just exposure to the Indian culture, but a form of soft power through its appeal in other countries.
Entertainment-wise, Bollywood movies have gained phenomenal exposure all over the world. India, the world’s largest film producer, makes close to a thousand films per year. The 100% foreign direct investment has made the Indian film industry attractive to foreign enterprises such as Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox. India’s participation in international film festivals contributed greatly to its exposure around the world. As many as 30 foreign film production countries were listed in the National Stock Exchange of India in 2003. The increase in Bollywood film and influence has led to their economic prosperity. The superstars in these films are charming and people are eager to watch their programs, ads, and movies. People all over the world are evidently addicted to the Indian soap operas and movies, the greatest to mention being Slum Dog Millionaire which won accolades at the Oscar awards.
Indian art, classical music, and dance together with the work of Indian fashion designers have become a benchmark in the world’s entertainment and fashion glitz. With the help of Slumdog Millionaire, a blockbuster Bollywood film, interest in Indian music and dance has been booming. Even ancient Indian meditation practices such as yoga have been sources of Indian popularity, being one of the most common workout/meditation styles used by a plethora of the population in the U.S. (Singh, B., 2009)
Not only will soft power be important in the future, soft power is important now. Soft power has gradually developed to become a very useful tool of winning support for a country and will continue to be an important aspect in terms of international relations. India has made steady progress in making its place amongst the much-desired positions of world leaders. It has gained military strength by having the world’s fourth largest army, along with being one of the few countries that possesses nuclear weapons. India is slated to become the world’s most populous country by the year 2034 and boasts an undisputed position of being the world’s fifth largest economy in terms of purchasing power despite most of its population being from the low social class. It is impossible to argue that these are not indicators used to judge a country’s global status.
It cannot be said that soft power alone is responsible for India’s growth. India has excelled economically, politically, and militarily at a favorable pace. This is attributed to many factors such as geographic location, which places India as the seventh largest nation in accordance with area and its position north of the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean is the harbor for vast Eurasian sea trade routes. As the world’s second largest populous country due to high birth rates, approximately sixty percent of India’s population is below the age of thirty with a global Diaspora coming in at thirty five million distributed across the globe. Still, these attributes alone do not give India the power and strength it has today.
Aside from India’s rise in power through hard power means, the rise of India’s soft power is also worth noting, which is less tangible and very important in the 21st Century. Soft power has a great influence in the world and can make it easier for governments to get policies passed in compliance with other countries without strict coercion. In his article “India and the world”, Bhartendu talks about India’s Non-Alignment Doctrine. The Non-Alignment Doctrine was a foreign policy formulated by India’s first Prime Minister Jawarhalal Nehru that would push India’s involvement with foreign countries (Singh, B., 2009). India’s strategies in Afghanistan were a prime example of how that policy was used.
Political factors, such as its foreign relations with world powers like the European Union, U.S., Russia, and Japan, rate India as the largest democratic republic. Confidence in India from other countries that it can balance the powerful non-democratic forces and its role in international politics are other huge factors that put India at the top. The fact that India is a democracy has improved its relations with other democratic nations and is improving ties with the majority of the western world. Powerful countries such as the France, U.K., and China have backed up India’s bid for a position in the Security Council in the G4 alliance. As a result, India’s foreign relations with present world powers like the European Union, United States, Russia, Japan, and China have steadily improved in the last few years. These developments have been the backbone of India’s role in international politics such as becoming the founding member of the Non-Aligned movement and many other political developments during the Cold War. (Singh, B., 2009)
Economic factors are also an influential aspect as India boasts the fourth largest economy in terms of real GDP, following United States, China and Japan. It is the second fastest growing economy in the world averaging an annual growth rate of 7.1 percent. This is supported by internal factors such as tourism, a mass transit system, energy, science and technology.
Militarily, India’s army is the second largest in the World and has a total of 2,114,700 active soldiers both in the Indian Armed Forces and the Indian Paramilitary Forces. As one of the traditional measurements of a country’s power, India’s military shows its competitive presence in the global scale.
India’s growth has been greatly supported by the meticulous influence of soft power and it has taken India a great distance, yet we cannot eliminate other important factors that have been slowly budding India’s spheres of influence in the last twenty years. These are the political, economic, and military ascension, which rate India as an emerging super power. Soft power alone could not put India a position of superiority, but in relation to the factors above, India has benefitted from constant growth.
India, like the United States, has a very large population. Americans take pride in having Hollywood and India develop its Bollywood industry, which has enjoyed ample popularity in the entertainment industries with double the audience of Hollywood movies. Indian actors are also given the superstar platform similar to their American counterparts. This is seen when the Slumdog Millionaire movie won at the Oscars, which is not like the old days when only American movies would be featured on the awards list. In fashion and music, we see a blend of Bhangra, Punjab’s premier music genre, with Pop working out well in the market. A prime example of that would be the hit song Singh Is King. It was composed by British Bhangra Band RDB and it received great attention in the U.S. because of hit rapper Snoop Doggs involvement. India as a country has worked very hard and achieved ample success in a short period of time, in comparison to America which took ages to reach where it is in the entertainment and fashion world.
The United States has enjoyed freedom and democracy for ages. Their universities continue to be destinations for the global elite who wanted to pursue higher education. The blockbuster movies from Hollywood were admired by everyone. Although America has enjoyed solitary influence using soft power, in the recent past we have seen a decline in the ability of the United States to appear attractive and favorable to other countries by the legitimacy of their policies without payment or coercion. This is because of the attitudes that the U.S. has developed globally on issues such as America’s insensitivity to protecting the environment, maintaining peace, and poverty eradication. Therefore, we can duly reason that there will be a tremendous fall in the influence of America’s soft power. America may be headed for a downfall if there are no amendments to their foreign policy that show appeal to other countries. At the Copenhagen Summit, Obama made an important decision to work with a small number of nations because all the nations gathered by the United Nations did not reach an agreement they liked to work with the U.S. It is clear that the U.S. is a common target of terrorists. The U.S. Trade Law has affected many foreign businesses in the United States causing foreign citizens to direct their anger at the United States Government. It has made it harder for businesses to obtain products from other countries causing business to slow.
Economists have predicted that by 2020, India will be among the leading economies of the world. In order to do that, India needs to unlock its vast potential to become a super power. It is coined by superpowers around the world as being an emerging power and to realize this, India needs to tap into its ancient culture (Singh, H., 2009). It needs to expand its economy and vibrant democratic values, spirituality, diversity, and widespread Diasporas, which are India’s core attributes that attract the world to the country. In order for India’s economy to keep expanding and rising, it needs to focus on its important aspects such as the world-class education, the Information Technology Industry and its philanthropic efforts such as those in Afghanistan. India can utilize its weaknesses by shaping a new vision for the world in which it will be dependent on it success and turn those weaknesses into its greatest assets.
Soft power is great, but it’s not always enough. It is more of a complement to hard power than an alternative. This is so because soft power does not offer solutions to all problems. There are situations where soft power is applied, but it cannot be put to use in other volatile circumstances. In the future, a country seeking power may use soft power to affect political relations because the U.S. exemplifies how influence can be lost due to too much hard power and influence, relying more on military strength and unilateral actions. “With the Marshall Plan, America made Western Europe an offer that all but forced Western Europe to adopt the mixed-economy social-democratic order of the post-World War II North Atlantic. It financed and arranged "regime change" in lesser countries to remove governments that seemed to be veering off into serious error. In all this, the United States used the leverage of having the money exclusively for the global greater good” (Delong, 2009, p. 2). The U.S. is in debt and foreign countries are rising as superpowers and depending on countries using soft power meaning they no longer need the United States. This resulted in alienation of a majority of world opinion, which is exemplified by military intervention in Iraq. Diverting away from world opinion caused countries to oppose than support America and lose its popularity. Thus, soft power has taken shape to control most of the countries approach to influence. Around the globe we can cite evidence of soft power taking cause and influencing decisions. The NBC/WSJ poll shows the rating of their president at an all-time high but the countries rating low. China is known to offer developing countries lucrative trade and energy deals as well as large-scale infrastructure investments with no demands in return. Many people have taken the concept of soft power differently and some embrace it without knowledge that it is soft power. An example would be the popularity of Coca Cola Products. These are examples and evidence that soft power is a global requirement in the emerging generation and practices of the 21st century.
Soft power can be underestimated but it surely will have more influence than hard power. Hard power has gradually lost popularity and many world countries need to analyze the aspect of winning support through attraction and the stories they tell using their history, culture, and music rather than the money offered in aid and military power the country yields. This has no significant benefit to the people, versus aspects of culture, food, fashion and entertainment, which make up the day-to-day interactions of communities and countries.