Moscow, Russia

Russia’s Soft Power: What It Is and What It Might Be

online course
when 3 August 2020 - 14 August 2020
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 2 EC
fee USD 300

Section 1. Nye’s’ concept of “soft power” has become one of the most popular concepts in the modern-day discussion of international relations. Though often invoked by policymakers and the general public, the concept itself is poorly understood and seldom treated in a rigorous and systematic way. In this part of the course, we will examine soft power as a theoretical concept and explore its relationship to other facets of power, such as coercion and inducement. We will look to answer three fundamental questions: What constitutes soft power? How can we measure its use? And how can states and other international actors use it to get what they want? We will also look to see whether American and Western soft power is in decline and also how other, non-Western, centers of power are trying to use it to achieve their foreign policy goals.

Section 2. Soft power is widely considered to be a missing part or at least a weak point among Russian foreign policy instruments, both globally and regionally. Without ideology, with the sluggish and one-sided economy, pervasive corruption, ineffective governance and poor rule of law, contemporary Russia cannot be an attractive model comparable to either the US and the EU, or rapidly growing and successful China. Thus, the argument goes, it is compelled to use hard power (both military and economic), as well as skillful diplomatic art, to promote its interests, while competition between Russia and the West at the former USSR is widely described as a clash between the Western soft and Russian hard power.

Section 3. The “clash of soft powers” in Asia-Pacific. The specificity of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian and Southeast Asian soft powers: points of convergence and divergence. An assessment of Western soft power capabilities in Asia-Pacific. Asia-Pacific soft power discourse: between nationalism and identity-building. Soft power and public diplomacy: the Asia-Pacific dimension. “Leadernomics” and “nationnomics” in Asia-Pacific: complementarity or contradiction?

Course leader

Dmitry Vyacheslavovich Suslov
Senior Lecturer:Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs / School of International Affairs

Evgeny Alexandrovich Kanaev
Professor: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs / School of International Aff

Fee info

USD 300: Tuition fee
USD 50: Registration fee


If you are a student of our Partner University we are happy to offer you a 20% discount.