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Diasporas’ Soft Power

Abstract

The article discusses the concept of "soft power" coined by J. Nye and its applicability to such a type of non-state actors as diaspora. Nye’s writings provide with theoretical background for this approach to an analysis. The author describes the basic differences between "soft power" and the direct coercion which is based on military and economic resources. This leads to the generalized understanding of the features that social groups have in this dimension and the specifics diasporas have in terms of the issue. Taking into account differences between resources that can be used to project "soft power", it should be noted that the products of such activities can differ remarkably. There are some restrictions and incentives for diasporas to project "soft power". These communities can fail to benefit from the external environment because of their inner insularity. On the contrary, the absence of global regulation of migration issues and the lack of flexibility of states may facilitate diasporas’ activities. There is no doubt that the balance of advantages and limitations varies from type to type of actors. Main directions of the "soft power" formation include the setting the agenda and the formation of a certain discourse. The indirect influence of diasporas in terms of a discourse embraces the use of the dominant ideology in society for a specific purpose, emphasizing certain features of the community and the formation of positive stereotypes in a hostland society. The agenda-setting power consists of participating in the development of common principles, providing information and monitoring of the situation. These forms of indirect influence may increase the impact of diasporas, although it depends not only on the internal processes within communities, but also on the actions taken by other actors in world politics.

Keywords:

soft power; indirect influence; diasporas; social groups; discourse; agenda; non-state actor.


Authors: Ivan Loshkariov

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