oa African Yearbook of Rhetoric - Soft power and forecasting influence

Volume 7 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2220-2188
  • E-ISSN: 2305-7785



Soft power? A systematic way to make the other party desire what you want? Who wouldn't be attracted by such a program? It suggests to please to appease, to be seductive to shape minds, to make other people share your values, to get international support...or the contrary. The success of the concept, in economics and geopolitics is symptomatic: the idea that you could gain power - that is, increase the probability that the other will behave in the way you wish - softly, without using violence or giving counterparts has everything to please the occidental elites. The soft power and the hope of expanding it to the rest of the world are appealing to those who have already tasted success from their political and economic position and to those who are not too dissatisfied with the world as it is. When a single word serves so many purposes, it legitimately raises ideological suspicions. Such ambiguities have a relationship with the evolution of the meaning of the word itself but also with its semantic "ecology" (the other words it replaces or generates) and with its "mediology"; that is, the material ways and means of such a "spiritual" process.

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