Think Again: Soft Power

In 1990, Foreign Policy was the first journal to publish the concept “soft power” in an article I wrote. Since then, the idea has circled the globe, as a quick Google search will show. A British rock band, Ladytron, even uses it as the title of a song in its new album. But as it has moved into common usage, the term has been stretched and twisted, sometimes beyond recognition. What exactly is soft power and how useful is it in dealing with today’s challenges?