Music as Soft Power

Students of political science and international relations are accustomed to the term ‘soft power’ as coined by Prof Joseph Nye of Harvard University. Soft power refers to factors such as values and cultures which are primary currencies in influencing world politics. This is opposed to notions of hard power, where the use of military force […]

Read More…

Public Affairs: The “Software” of Emerging Middle Powers

A recent article on MH 370 by Richard Cronin from the Stimson Center noted how emerging markets have the ‘trappings’ of a developed country but remain deficient in other critical elements of a modern industrial state”. The article refers to this deficiency as a lack of the ‘software’ needed to help these emerging markets to […]

Read More…

Beyond Food for Fuel: The Little Red Dot in ASEAN-GCC Relations

“You have what we don’t have, and we have plenty of what you don’t have, so we need each other.” – Dr Surin Pitsuwan, ASEAN Secretary-General, 2009 Speaking after the first meeting between foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC),  Dr Pitsuwan was referring to the […]

Read More…

From Propaganda to Public Diplomacy

In 2008, Joseph Nye wrote a piece entitled “Public Diplomacy and Soft power” published in the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Nye wrote about influence and power vis a vis the act of persuading—winning people over without the use of force. His article was written in the context of 9-11 and the war of […]

Read More…

Absurdity fuelling creativity

Amidst the tensions of the ardous search for MH 370, Bomoh Ibrahim Mat Zin has provided much amusement to the world. Unfortunately, despite his magnanimous offer to assist in searching for plane via supernatural means, his efforts have, by and large, been an embarrasment for Malaysia in more ways than one. Aside from misinforming updates […]

Read More…