Joseph S. Nye, Jr., University Distinguished Service Professor and former Dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Harvard’s Joseph S. Nye, Jr., for a discussion of his new book, The Future of Power. Nye offers a typology of power and explains the importance of a strategy shaped by an intelligent assessment of context and resources. Emphasizing the differences between military, economic, and soft power, he distinguishes three chess boards or domains where these faces of power have a differential impact on behavior. Understanding this complexity makes for the possibility of smart power. Nye then discusses the rise and fall of great powers but emphasizes the importance of the diffusion of power especially apparent in the cyber domain in which the communications revolution has created new actors and new rules of the game. He then applies his concepts to recent international events including the revolution in Egypt; the Wiki leaks phenomena; and the humanitarian intervention in Libya. He concludes with a discussion of whether American institutions can adapt to the prerequisites of a smart strategy that comprehends the complexity of international life in the 21st century.