This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

The Dangerous Side of Power

  • Subject: Life
  • Category: Hero
  • Topic: Power
  • Page 1
  • Words: 661
  • Published: 27 February 2019
  • Downloads: 49
downloadDownload printPrint

Pssst… we can write an original essay just for you.

Any subject. Any type of essay. We’ll even meet a 3-hour deadline.

Get your price

121 writers online

The Dangerous Side of Power essay
Download PDF

Power has many definitions. If we look at the some of the definitions from political science arena there are six definitions of power. First there is a physical force and a capacity for violence, control of the means of force, power is at its primal. Second definition is wealth. Money creates the ability to buy results and to buy almost any other kind of power. The third form of power is state action. This is the use of law and bureaucracy to compel people to do or not to do certain things. For example in a democracy people give government its power through elections. In a dictatorship, state power emerges from the threat of force, not consent of the people.

Fourth type of power is social norms. Norms do not have the centralized machinery of government. They operate in a softer way, peer to peer. They can certainly make people change behavior and even change laws. The fifth form of power is ideas. An idea individual liberties or racial equality can generate boundless amounts of power. If it motivates enough people to change their thinking and actions. And six source of power is number of people. A noisy mass of people creates power by expressing collective intensity of interest and by asserting legitimacy.

If we study power, we have to know Nye’s definition of “power”. According to him it is the ability to influence the behavior of others in order to get the outcomes one wants. He argued that there are three ways to exercise power: to coerce through threats, to induce behavioral change with payments or to attract and co-opt. The first two, coercion and inducement through payment, are forms of hard power; soft power is the ability to obtain proffered outcomes through attraction. In other words, it is the ability to attract co-opt rather than by coercion, using force or giving money as a mean of persuasion.

According to Nye the major elements of a country’s soft power include its culture, values and policies. However, he also pointed out that the passive use of military and economic resources can sometimes be used to attract, just as their active use can be a means to coerce, implying that different resources can also contribute to soft power. Recently, the term has also been used in changing and influencing social and public opinion through relatively less transparent channels and lobbying through powerful political and non-political organizations. In 2012, Nye explained that with soft power, “the best propaganda is not propaganda”, further explaining that during the Information Age, “credibility is the scarcest resource”. Joseph Nye coined the term in a 1990 book, Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power. In this book he wrote: “When one country gets other countries to want what it wants might be called co-optive or soft power in contrast with the hard or command power of ordering others to do what it wants. He further developed the concept in his 2004 book, Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics.

The term is now widely used in international affairs by analysts and statesman. For example, the US secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke of the need to enhance American Soft Power by “ a dramatic increase in spending on the civilian instruments of national security, diplomacy, strategic communications, foreign assistance, civic action and economic reconstruction and development”. Nye also coined the concept of “smart power”, arguing that hard and soft power can be combined and exercised judicially with contextual intelligence. It is defined by the Center for Strategic and International Studies as “an approach that underscores the necessity of a strong military, but also invests heavily in alliances, partnerships, and institutions of all levels to expand one’s influence and establish of one’s action”. Nye suggests that the most effective strategies in foreign policy today require a mix of hard and soft power resources. Employing only hard power or only soft power in a given situation will usually prove inadequate.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

experts 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now

delivery Starting from 3 hours delivery

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

The Dangerous Side of Power. (2019, February 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 21, 2022, from
“The Dangerous Side of Power.” GradesFixer, 27 Feb. 2019,
The Dangerous Side of Power. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 Jan. 2022].
The Dangerous Side of Power [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Feb 27 [cited 2022 Jan 21]. Available from:
copy to clipboard

Sorry, copying is not allowed on our website. If you’d like this or any other sample, we’ll happily email it to you.

    By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.


    Attention! This essay is not unique. You can get a 100% Plagiarism-FREE one in 30 sec

    Receive a 100% plagiarism-free essay on your email just for $4.99
    get unique paper
    *Public papers are open and may contain not unique content
    download public sample

    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    Want us to write one just for you? We can custom edit this essay into an original, 100% plagiarism free essay.

    thanks-icon Order now

    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Having trouble finding the perfect essay? We’ve got you covered. Hire a writer

    Haven't found the right essay?

    Get an expert to write you the one you need!


    Professional writers and researchers


    Sources and citation are provided


    3 hour delivery