CAMBRIDGE – As Russian missiles pound Ukrainian cities, and as Ukrainians fight to defend their country, some avowed realists might say, “So much for soft power.” But such a response betrays a shallow analysis. Power is the ability to affect others to get the outcomes you want. A smart realist understands that you can do this in three ways: by coercion, by payment, or by attraction – in other words, the proverbial “sticks, carrots, and honey.”
In the short run, sticks are more effective than honey, and hard power trumps soft power. If I want to steal your money using hard power, I can threaten to shoot you and take your wallet. It does not matter what you think, and I get your money right away. To take your money using soft power, I would need to persuade you to give me your money. That takes time, and it does not always work. Everything depends on what you think. But if I can attract you, soft power may prove a far less costly way to get your money. In the long term, honey sometimes trumps sticks.
Likewise, in international politics, the effects of soft power tend to be slow and indirect. We can see the effects of bombs and bullets right away, whereas the attraction of values and culture may be visible only in the long run. But to ignore or neglect these effects would be a serious mistake. Smart political leaders have long understood that values can create power. If I can get you to want what I want, I will not have to force you to do what you do not want to do. If a country represents values that others find attractive, it can economize on the use of sticks and carrots.
Jeremić and Schmidt-Traub: The continuation of the war in Ukraine will cause a world food crisis
"The war in Ukraine has deepened the existing crisis in the system of food production and
consumption, which is a consequence of the pandemic and reduced incomes, as well as climate
change. This has a dramatic impact on agricultural production around the world," said Schmidt-
Traub at the lecture. "How will the future reflect on agriculture, food and water", held as part of
CIRSD's "Future Leaders" program, whose participants include postgraduate students from all
over the world.
Branko Milanović lectures at newly established Future Leaders Program
Professor Milanović led this insightful discussion on income inequality between and within nations, tracing the history of income inequality throughout the world from the industrial revolution to today.
Vuk Jeremić lectures at the Academy of Young Diplomats
Reflecting on the influence of powerful global players in the Western Balkans, Jeremić pointed out that Brussels has abdicated its geopolitical role in the region, thus opening new space for other actors. He underlined that the influence of the Russian Federation and Turkey has been present for centuries, and that China is the only new variable in the equation.
CIRSD President speaks at University Presidents meeting
The President of the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD), Vuk Jeremić attended one of the biggest regional meetings of University Presidents from Asia, Europe and the Middle East, devoted to the University Sector’s support to the UN Decade of Action.