On Tuesday evening, the Swedish ambassador in London, Nicola Clase (an ECFR Council member) hosted a dinner for Joe Nye aka “Mr. Soft Power”. Among the guests were former British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd and Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill aka “Mr BRIC”. The conversation over dinner focused on three distinct but connected subjects: the future of power in international relations; the euro crisis; and the debate about American “decline” and the US “pivot” to Asia. The question in the background was: what is happening to Europe’s power in the world?
Nye began by outlining the thesis of his most recent book, The Future of Power – which he also discussed at a Black Coffee Morning last May. Power used to be about whose army won, he said; in an information age, it is as much about whose story wins. Nye argues that two long-term developments are transforming international
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