The terms soft power and public diplomacy (PD) are widely used these days in policy communities and media discourses across the world. Their wide currency has not added to clarity in their usage and indeed the terms are often used as if they are readily interchangeable. Soft power has both international relations and other applications and more typologising is called for to elucidate the differences as soft power may on occasion be at play outside of PD. Additionally support for hard power policies may be sought through PD. The relationships are complex rather than simple or at rate we need first to elucidate the complexities before searching for simple models. This article seeks to 1) identify the complexity around the notion of PD; 2) identify the complexity around the notion of soft power; 3) relate PD to hard and soft power; 4) develop a matrix for dealing with complexity in PD and soft power; 5) and discuss the complexity around the notion of PD in terms of the matrix.
- soft power
- public diplomacy