Soft Power in International Relations: Opportunities for Small States like Nepal

  • Shweta Karki Department of International Relations and Diplomacy, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
  • Sarashree Dhungana Graduated from Department of International Relations and Diplomacy, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
Keywords: small states, soft power, hard power, foreign policy


The study of power has been one of the main features of IR. While hard power remained at the forefront of the academic discourse for a long time, soft power emerged as an alternative to understand the complex interactions between states and how states employ different sources of non-coercive means to persuade global actors. Nye, in the late twentieth century, perpetrated the idea to indicate the shift from assertion to attraction. This research has focused on why soft power has been a more relevant device for certain states in the system that lack military might. The research has largely analyzed and described the various ways in which small states around the world have resorted to soft power in the face of the interdependent world order. It then has looked into the different ways through which Nepal as a small state can effectively examine its soft power sources, to garner influence in the global power structure and obtain its foreign policy objectives, keeping in mind that the soft power of any state is dependent of the resources that it has and is also able to mobilize.


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