Is tech a boon or bane for American Soft Power?

The TechCrunch Global Affairs Project investigates the fast-growing intertwined relationship between global politics and the tech sector. Thirty years ago, Joseph Nye, the political scientist, overturned convention when he said that the states exert not just hard power like military might but also soft power.

when one country gets other countries to want what it wants … in contrast with the hard or command the power of ordering others to do what it wants.”Soft power is a rule by attraction, not by force. In countries with more influence on culture, economic, scientific and moral power, the theory goes, “punch above their weight,” converting that influence into material profit.

Nye, soft power

Soft power is everything that isn’t military or material. Queen Elizabeth II and Rihanna are soft power stars, just like Hollywood, sushi, Louis Vuitton and Copacabana Beach. Our technological ingenuity has been credited with increasing American soft power in recent years. Since the world’s OS is American, it means the majority of the world lives on technology-based, on American values like free speech, privacy, respect for diversity and decentralization.

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