Tuesday, 1st April 2014
UK: Persuasion and Power in the Modern World
Source: House of Lords Select Committee on Soft Power and the UK’s Influence
Immense changes are taking place in the international landscape. The conditions under which international relations are conducted have undergone, and are continuing to undergo, major shifts which will accelerate and be compounded in the years immediately ahead. Unprecedented international access to state information, the digital empowerment of individuals and groups, the growing role of global protest networks and NGOs, the complexity of modern trade supply chains and multinational corporate operations, accelerated urbanisation, the increasing asymmetry of modern warfare, and transnational challenges are diffusing and fragmenting traditional state power, and enabling the world’s peoples and countries to be increasingly interconnected and interdependent. At the same time, the rising power, economic and political, of non-Western countries (the so- called ‘rise of the rest’) is altering the international balance of power and influence.
The UK, like other nations, is directly affected by these new conditions. They create a demand for new approaches in the exercise and deployment of our influence. These new methods involve generating international power through influencing other countries to want the same things as the UK, by building positive international relationships and coalitions which defend our interests and security, uphold our national reputation and promote our trade and prosperity. This has been described as the exercise of ‘soft power’, as distinct from the use of force and coercion for a nation to assert itself, labelled as ‘hard power’.
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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.
A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.
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