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Social Power in International Politics


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Table of Contents

1. Social Power Defined 2. Geopolitics and Hegemony 3. Culture and Constructivism 4. Institutions and Law 5. Media and Globalization 6. Public Diplomacy 7. Place Branding 8. Conclusion. Endnotes. Bibliography. Index

About the Author

Clingendael Institute ,the Netherlands


"While the concept of power has been emblematic of the pursuit of international politics for many centuries, it continues to foster debate and controversy both within IR and amongst policy-makers. 'Hard' power has been pitted against 'soft' power, with little agreement in a crowded field of competing claims. In this new book Peter van Ham has entered the fray by focusing instead on 'social power', holding it to be the key to understanding contemporary international politics and global governance. His argumentation is highly original, analytically sophisticated and empirically well-grounded, rendering this a 'must read' for both the academic analyst and the intellectually savvy decision-maker." - Walter Carlsnaes, Uppsala University, Sweden "Refreshing and original -- a significant contribution to our understanding of world affairs. Peter van Ham tackles a notoriously elusive concept, social power, with admirable clarity, nuance, and insight." - Charles A. Kupchan, Georgetown University and Council on Foreign Relations, Washington DC, USA "Van Ham gives new meaning to the term 'social power'. This book is an eloquent and stimulating contribution to an important debate." - Ludger Kuhnhardt, Center for European Integration Studies, Bonn University, Germany "The international system is fast changing and so we are compelled - as we always are when old certainties are being undermined - to radically rethink our ways of seeing the world. This is precisely what Peter van Ham does in this challenging new study. Not only does his highly original use of the idea of 'social power' - defined here as the ability to set standards and create legitimate norms and values - lay the foundation for a more creative way of conceptualizing our emerging order. It also throws down the gauntlet to those who continue to hold on to the illusionathat we can still get by with old ways of thinking. A tour de force that is bound to redefine the field of International Relations." - Michael Cox, Department of International Relations and Co-Director IDEAS, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

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