Center for Strategic Communication

What China and Russia don’t get about Soft Power

Joseph Nye / Foreign Policy

When Foreign Policy first published my essay “Soft Power” in 1990, who would have expected that someday the term would be used by the likes of Hu Jintao or Vladimir Putin? Yet Hu told the Chinese Communist Party in 2007 that China needed to increase its soft power, and Putin recently urged Russian diplomats to apply soft power more extensively. Neither leader, however, seems to have understood how to accomplish his goals.


Beyond Zero Sum Cultural Diplomacy

Max Entman

In a recent speech at the 2012 Institute for Cultural Diplomacy conference, former Canadian Minister of Foreign Trade Stockwell Day argues that cultural diplomacy can be used to advance certain broad principles that can help alleviate poverty around the world.


China commits billions in aid to Africa as part of charm offensive

Claire Provost and Rich Harris / The Guardian

China has committed $75bn (£48bn) on aid and development projects in Africa in the past decade, according to research which reveals the scale of what some have called Beijing’s escalating soft power “charm offensive” to secure political and economic clout on the continent.


Social Media in the Era of Terrorism

Andrew Prempeh / Foreign Policy Journal

Imagine a world where lack of a basic education is rampant, where poverty and corruption play a role in every country, and where force is sufficient to require obedience.


One Day’s News Shows Effects of New Media

Philip Seib / CPD Blog

As an indication of how online media are becoming ever more dominant in our world, consider two newspaper front pages (the ink-on-paper versions) on Wednesday, April 24.


Is Google more powerful than some nations?

Mya Frazier / EdmondSun

More than two years ago, as governments on two continents were preparing to launch anti-trust investigations against it, Google began moving aggressively onto the turf of states.


Jon Stewart, Bassem Youssef, & U.S. Embassy, Cairo: Reconceptualizing diplomatic norms in the Digital Age

Alex Laverty / CPD blog

On April 3, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo tweeted a link to a video of popular political satirist Jon Stewart. For most Twitter users, this would be nothing out of the ordinary. @USEmbassyCairo usually posts links to opportunities for Egyptians for exchange programs with the United States and the activities of the Mission’s staff in English.


On Our Flashpoint Blog

War of the Soft Powers

Matthew Wallin

Are we in danger of losing our soft power edge to Russia and China? At this point, the answer is no. Should we be frightened by their efforts to augment and enhance their soft power? The answer is also no.


In Economic Battle for Influence, Soft Power May Decide the Winner

Lívia Pontes Fialho

China is eyeing Africa’s natural resources, which Brazil has plenty of.  While China’s economic capabilities far surpass Brazil’s, cultural ties and soft power may give the South American nation an edge.


Upcoming Events

The Decline and Fall of the United States Information Agency

With author Nicholas J. Cull, Professor of Public Diplomacy, USC.

When: Monday, May 6, 12:00 noon

Where: American Foreign Service Association
2101 E Street NW
Washington, DC 20037

RSVP: To request attendance, write to