'Soft' Or 'Hard' Power?

In an atmosphere of globalization, changing laws and shifting ways of governing, understanding current and changing public policy has become even more important.

On The Early Show, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., the Dean at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, explains that America, the only current superpower, finds itself in a position to be emulated by other countries, but also hated.

Nye, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration, wrote "The Paradox of American Poser: Why the World's Only Superpower Can't Go It Alone" to address America's global power and how best, he feels, to maintain it.

Nye begins "The Paradox of American Poser" by making the distinction between "hard power" and "soft power." The former includes military might and economic muscle; the latter, which he defines as "getting others to want what you want," is a combination of suasions including popular culture, public opinion, and core values. He says America's ability to combine the two makes it hard for the United States to have any rivals.

But, Nye explains leaning toward either "power" may cripple the country. Such as, he says, the U.S. cannot squander its "soft power" by bullying for their policies because that makes other countries lose apathy for the superpower.

Since 9/11, Nye says the mission of his school plays an important part in setting public policies that can work. He says, political leaders, abroad and at home, aren't born with the knowledge to govern. Sometimes they need a little help and training before leading the world.

The Kennedy School of Government has trained many from around the world for public leadership by helping to solve problems of public policy.

Nye says that among the 16,000 Kennedy School graduates from over 120 countries, some have headed governments on five continents. In the United States, alumni have held cabinet-level positions and served as senior advisors to every American president since Franklin Roosevelt.

Graduates currently serve in both houses of Congress. Other alumni play important roles in state and local government, while yet others guide the activities of private and non-profit organizations, particularly where they interact with the public sector.

The school encompasses 10 research centers and institutes, and more than a dozen executive and degree programs, with enrollment figures reaching more than 800 students.