Hard power

Hard power

Hard power is a term describing power obtained from the utilisation of military and/or economic power to influence the behaviour or interests of other political bodies. As the name would suggest, this form of political power is often aggressive, and is most effective when imposed by one political body upon another of lesser military and/or economic power.

Original Definition

Hard power is a term used in international relations. Hard power is a theory that describes using military and economic means to influence the behavior or interests of other political bodies.It is used in contrast to soft power, which refers to power that comes from diplomacy, culture and history.

While the existence of hard power has a long history, the term arose when Joseph Nye coined 'soft power' as a new, and different form of power in a State's foreign policy. Hard power is mostly placed in the International Relations discipline of Realism, where military power is seen as the expression of a states' strength in the international community.

Hard power lies at the command end of the spectrum of behaviours and describes a nation's ability to coerce or induce another nation to perform a course of action. This can be done through military power which consists of coercive diplomacy, war and alliance using threats and force with the aim of coercion, deterrence and protection. Alternatively economic power can be used which relies on aid, bribes and economic sanctions in order to induce and coerce. Example: "Mr.Kindleburger often uses hard power in the classroom, upon his students. He often scolds them and threatens them with detentions daily." Hard power is often threatening.

ee also

*Gunboat diplomacy
*Moral authority

External links

* [http://blog.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/drg/ Global Power Barometer]

Further reading

*Kurt Campbell and Michael O'Hanlon, "Hard Power: The New Politics of National Security".
*Joseph S. Nye, Jr, "Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics".

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