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The Rhetorical Dimension Of Soft Power
 

The Rhetorical Dimension Of Soft Power

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This ppt describes my dissertation project on the rhetorical dimension of soft power. The presentation includes a primer on soft power; lists the elements of a rhetorical critique; and presents my ...

This ppt describes my dissertation project on the rhetorical dimension of soft power. The presentation includes a primer on soft power; lists the elements of a rhetorical critique; and presents my research objectives, questions, and anticipated outcomes for theory and practice.

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    The Rhetorical Dimension Of Soft Power The Rhetorical Dimension Of Soft Power Presentation Transcript

    • The Rhetorical Dimension of Soft Power DISSERTATION PROJECT PRESENTATION BY M. KAREN WALKER Dissertation Advisor: Dr. James F. KlumppDepartment of Communication
    • Blue Print A short primer on soft power Rhetorical critique of soft power Dissertation research objectives Research questions Anticipated outcomes Dissertation PrécisDepartment of Communication
    • Explicating Soft Power Exigence for a New Theory of State Power: The Unipolar Moment. Nye publishes Bound to Lead; accompanying Foreign Policy essay published Autumn 1990  Changed currency from military force to attraction absent explicit threat or exchange (i.e., carrots and sticks); a nation-state can shape others’ preferences in ways that advance the nation-state’s interests and goal achievement  Responded to observation that technology, education, economic growth were becoming as important as geography, population, and raw materials in assessing a nation-state’s relative strength  Introduced soft power as a binary, a definition by negation: an alternative to hard (military) power; non-kineticDepartment of Communication
    • Explicating Soft Power Soft power resources  A nation’s culture and ideology  Probability of obtaining desired outcomes increases when culture includes universal values  Universal values have high potency for attraction; outliers are discouraged  A nation’s institutions  Establishment of international norms consistent with its own society: soft power can operate in a fashion that is asymmetrical and indirect  Institutions channel others’ activities in preferred directions  Expanded list of basic resources: includes legitimate policies, a positive domestic policy model, a successful economy, and a competent military  Shaped resources: national intelligence services, information agencies, diplomacy, public diplomacy, and assistance programsDepartment of Communication
    • Explicating Soft Power Two power shifts are occurring simultaneously  A power transition among nation-states  Power diffusion away from all states to non-state actors Five trends contribute to the diffusion of power  Economic interdependence  Transnational actors  Nationalism in weak states  Spread of technology  Changing political issues (management of the global commons, mitigation of transnational threats)Department of Communication
    • Explicating Soft Power Soft power and globalization: informational and institutional power mitigate potentially destabilizing influences Metaphor of three-dimensional chess board moves beyond the hard-soft binary  Top board: achieve possession goals through state-to-state engagement over vital interests  Middle board: achieve possession goals through multi-polar or multi-state engagement on national interests; interdependence (but not necessarily harmony)  Bottom board: advance milieu goals—affecting conditions favorable to attainment of possession goals—through participatory and purposive diplomatic engagement, involving new actors who address transnational issuesPossession and milieu goals attributed to Arnold Wolfers, Discord & Collaboration: Essays on International Politics, 1962Department of Communication
    • Explicating Soft Power Soft Power and International Relations Theory: Realism  Exigence for soft power: trends constraining ways in which states pursue their national interests  Mitigate uncertainty  Calculate and manage costs and benefits of international engagement  Maintain stable and favorable hierarchies among nation states  Express sovereignty through national leadership that is both representative and deliberativeDepartment of Communication
    • Explicating Soft Power Soft Power and International Relations Theory: Constructivism  Centrality of notions about the parity and influence of intangible resources such as values, given structure through institutions, suggests that soft power is constructivist in its essence  Universality of a country’s culture and its ability to establish a set of favorable rules and institutions that govern areas of international activity are critical sources of power  Human rights  Democracy  HumanitarianismDepartment of Communication
    • Rhetorical Critique of Soft Power Correct an over-reliance on persuasive rather than constitutive theories of attraction  Reduce dissonance between attraction as a process, and co-optation as the telos of soft power  Early representations of soft power suggested a linear progression from command (hard) power to co-optation (attraction)  More recent representations suggest that command and co-optive power operate as dialectical forces on forms of persuasion  Soft power is accrued through performative actions by members of a transnational rhetorical community, imbued with common purpose, for whom discourse is constitutiveDepartment of Communication
    • Rhetorical Critique of Soft Power Treat the substances of soft power as dynamic rhetorical constructions that engender commitments from members of a community  The authenticity of ideological consensus matters  Social agency, especially when exercised through deliberative and representative processes, is critical to informing and articulating public opinion  Rhetorical functions such as invention and memory help animate substances of soft power in everyday discourse  Rhetorical leadership converts soft power resources into influenceDepartment of Communication
    • Rhetorical Critique of Soft Power Refine the role of narrative  Nye includes a discussion of narrative in the Future of Power  Nye’s writings gesture toward Fisher’s Narrative Paradigm Theory (stories competing with other stories), but the underlying understanding of human communication processes that Fisher brings to the narrative paradigm remain understated Make explicit the place of language as a structural element of soft power  In The Future of Power Nye discusses structure in the antecedents of power theory, in a fashion that is not far removed from communication discipline approaches, e.g., Foucault’s Archeology of Knowledge  Nonetheless, language remains implicit as a contributing factor in power structures and networksDepartment of Communication
    • Aims of the Dissertation Bring rhetorical theory and methods to bear on problems in foreign affairs and security studies Elaborate soft power from a rhetorical perspective  Generate a ready vocabulary to describe soft power resources and processes of attraction: e.g., identification, courtship, hierarchy, transcendence  Animate soft power’s substances of culture, values, institutions, and policies – using a case study, illustrate soft power’s rhetorical work  Recast telos of soft power relations from the co-optive to the constitutive  Illustrate how rhetorical processes and strategies generate international influence from soft power resourcesDepartment of Communication
    • Aims of the Dissertation Energize and innovate diplomatic tradecraft  Operationalize Nye’s definition of “contextual intelligence,” the ability to understand an evolving environment and capitalize on trends (Future of Power, p. xvii)  Create heuristics for foreign affairs officers who are managing bilateral dialogues and Track II diplomacy initiatives  Increase appreciation for diplomats’ work within multilateral institutions  Suggest additional approaches for managing participatory forms of diplomatic engagement  Improve capacity of foreign affairs officers to recognize and anticipate changes in predominant narratives that frame a given issue or diplomatic encounterDepartment of Communication
    • Illustrating Soft Power’s Rhetorical Force Focus on the legislative (or parliamentary) arena, characterized by open debate and active civil society advocacy on an issue that affects nation-state relations Selection of a case study within this arena allows me to:  Bring rhetorical-critical methods to bear on deliberative discourses and commentaries that enliven the substances of soft power  Describe the work of soft power in transforming a bilateral relationship  Showcase rhetorical strategies for converting the substances of soft power into national influenceDepartment of Communication
    • Research Questions Working within the discursive archive associated with the U.S.-Indian civilian nuclear agreement (July 2005 – October 2008), I will employ a combination of narrative and ideographic analysis techniques to answer the following questions:  What rhetorical tracings inform our understanding of the 2008 civilian nuclear agreement?  How did proponents’ and opponents’ discourses animate the substances of soft power, including culture, values, policies, and international norms? Did a hierarchy of terms of commitment emerge, and is it stable over time? Which transcendental terms within the joint repertoire allowed debate to advance?Department of Communication
    • Research Questions  Did leading persona emerge in the debate, and if so, what can we learn from their rhetorical strategies and tactics?  How do terms of commitment emerge and function in the discourses of American, Indian, and Diasporan participants? How are specific ideographs, such as <progress> and <security> interpolated? Do shared terms create identification or display difference?  To what extent does the symmetry of rhetorical form assure the successful courtship between national leaders and, by extension, nation- states?  What is the predominant image and character of India, as a nation- state, that emerges from the discourses analyzed?  How is the relationship between the U.S. and India transformed through the discourses analyzedDepartment of Communication
    • Anticipated Outcomes Theory  Widen the space for constitutive processes within international relations theory  Increase the explanatory force and probative value of soft power theory  Re-characterize the telos of soft power from the co-optive to the constitutive  Expand the types of discursive arenas in which soft power is known to operate  Refine the definitional contexts to which we can attribute soft power’s generation and accrual  Clarify the taxonomy of soft power, strategic communication, nation- branding, and public diplomacyDepartment of Communication
    • Anticipated Outcomes Practice  Increase understanding of the processes of attraction, as well as how soft power is sustained, and how soft power becomes influence  Develop tools for benchmarking a nation’s effectiveness in generating and using soft power (in addition to public opinion)  Move foreign policy dialogue from reactive to anticipatory questions and answers  Expand the tool kit of diplomatic tradecraft with regard to the analysis of the communicative environment, the selection of narrative techniques, and effectiveness in managing narrative processesDepartment of Communication
    • Dissertation Précis Introduction: Discuss the motivation, vision, coherence, and value of the project  Chapter I: Explicate soft power  Chapter II: Critique soft power using a rhetorical lens Rhetorical Enactments: Project the locus of soft power’s rhetorical work and justify the methodological approach to building an evidence base  Chapter III: Establish context for U.S.-India civilian nuclear cooperation; introduce and justify the methodological approach; characterize the collection of artifacts that compose the discursive archive for analysis  Chapter IV: Analyze discourse generated in civic and legislative arenas regarding the agreement Meta Analysis and Conclusions  Chapter V: Describe theoretical gains and make recommendations regarding the management of US-India soft power relationsDepartment of Communication
    • Comments and Questions? M. Karen Walker Email: m.karen@rhetoricalens.info Phone: (703) 625-1298 Web site: www.rhetoricalens.infoDepartment of Communication