Discussing Smart Power

There is a new blog in town: SmartPowerBlog.org. The concept of Smart Power is the dynamic and active blending of hard and soft power to achieve an outcome that is not possible otherwise. This concept is discussed frequently, but the term Smart Power is new. Smart Power could be like a stereo equalizer with independent sliders adjusting this way and that way with the listener hearing just the right thing.

From the introductory post on SmartPowerBlog.org:

What Is Smart Power?
Smart power is the exercise of hard power and soft power in complementary ways that advances the goals of an entity. Usually those entities are national governments, but other levels of government and non-governmental actors also wield both, and seek smart power to achieve their goals….

Why Smart Power Now?
There are two reasons to hold a serious conversation about ‘smart power’ now. First, and most obviously, the failures of the war in Iraq and the efforts to combat terrorism have provoked across the political spectrum, in the United States and around the world, an intense and widespread debate about how best to balance the power to coerce and the power to persuade.

Second, beyond the conjunctural provocations of Iraq and counter-terrorism, there may be a more fundamental reason to pay attention to soft power’s intersections with hard power….Networks flourish, especially as democracy diffuses through once-authoritarian lands and people seek new outlets for their new-found empowerment.