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Hegemonic stability & Soft Power

I'm stuck with an essay question as to where to start - any suggestions?

"Is soft power a challenge or a succession of the theory of hegemonic stability? Critically evaluate with examples."

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You're obviously going to have to figure out whether you think soft power is a challenge to or succession of the theory of hegemonic stability.

A good first step, and something you should do in your essay, is to define the two terms.

Here's a brief outline of hegemonic stability theory I found online. I'll use that definition - all though you may have a better one.


hegemonic stability theory - The stability of the International System requires a single dominant state to articulate and enforce the rules of interaction among the most important members of the system.

Power is the ability to influence the behavior of other actors to affect desired outcomes. Traditional definitions of power in international affairs center around strength - military, economic, industrial, etc.

Soft Power, however, includes not only govt policy, but also the ...

Solution Summary

The solution was written to help the student tackle a topic in International relations, specifically hegemonic stability and Soft Power (please see original problem/long description). The solution offers advice and important points to ponder as well as provides the necessary links to help the student expand the ideas presented.