Political Science Answer Writing Practice 2018 - Week 4 - Question 5

90 Days Political Science Answer Writing Practice Question 1 for 07-Dec-2018

Instructions for Writing Answer

1. Write your answers in the comment section.


2. Experts will provide their feedback in reply.

3. Model Answers will be uploaded on this page the next day.

4. Rectify your mistakes and progress further.

5. All the Best.

07-Dec-2018 - Question 1

What, according to Joseph Nye, are the major sources of a country's soft, power? Discuss its relevance in the contemporary world politics. (2018) - 250 words

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Model Answer

Joseph Nye introduced the concept of "soft power" in the late 1980s. For Nye, power is the ability to influence the behaviour of others to get the outcomes one wants. There are several ways one can achieve this: one can coerce them with threats; one can induce them with payments; or one can attract and co-opt them to want what one wants. This soft power – getting others to want the outcomes what one wants – co-opts people rather than coerces them.

It can be contrasted with 'hard power', which is the use of coercion and payment. Soft power can be wielded not just by states but also by all actors in international politics, such as NGOs or international institutions It is also considered the "second face of power" .

A country's soft power, according to Nye, rests on three resources:

1.its culture (in places where it is attractive to others),

2.its political values (when it lives up to them at home and abroad), for eg. Democracy and human rights and

3.its foreign policies (when others see them as legitimate and having moral authority) – when foreign policy reflect that country is taking care of interest of others also.

For eg. India ‘s soft power in terms of culture are Bollywood ,butter chicken,  in term of political values is democracy and in term of foreign policy is Panchsheel, India soft policy with respect to Afghanistan in respect to Parliament building, school building , construction of road etc.


The relevance of soft power in contemporary world politics –


It is the power of attraction.  It is intangible form of power. Soft power is manufacturing consent. It is non-militaristic form of power. The age of complex interdependence has reduced the scope of soft power and increased reliance on soft power.

Soft power works indirectly. It creates an environment. Both soft power and hard power may fail but soft power is less costly. Excessive use of hard power may make other insecure and may promote other countries to form counter coalition.

Though the basis of soft power is ideational but we can say that soft power is more relevant in 21st century.

Note: There is no template for a correct UPSC answer, the model answer is only for your reference

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