Soft Power: The New Great Game

Soft Power: The New Great Game


In Soft Power, Robert Winder  explores the ways in which modern states are asserting themselves not through traditional realpolitik but through alternative means: business, language, culture, ideas, sport, education, music, even food – the texture and values of history and daily life.

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Moving from West to East, the book tells the story of soft power by exploring the varied ways in which it operates – from an American sheriff in Poland to an English garden in Ravello, a French vineyard in Australia, an Asian restaurant in Spain, a Chinese Football stadium in Africa; the fact that over fifty modern heads of state were educated in Britain; the student exchange that took a teenage Deng Xiaoping to a small town on the Loire; the way that Japan could seduce the world wih chic food and smart computer games.

With Soft power’s quiet ingredients – education, science, trade, cultural values – and a new emphasis on shared mutual interest, it may be the only force supple enough to tackle the challenges the future looks like they pose – not least the slam-the-door reflexes pulling in the other direction.

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Robert Winder


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