V. Shvydko, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO RAN), 23 Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (email@example.com).
Abstract. The use of smart power to achieve national goals as part of global and regional strategies is becoming an evident trend in world politics. A roundtable discussion held at the IMEMO Centre for Asia-Pacific studies focused on a softer, intellectual dimension of smart power used by major international actors in Northeast Asia and in the Pacific to serve their goals and interests. Ideas and concepts developed by domestic think tanks or political analysts are launched into international discussions aiming to influence actual agenda of international expert community and activities by multilateral frameworks and organisations. The infusion of these ideas into the agenda and content of international discussion overtly or covertly affects the mindset of political class in other countries and drives them towards articulating of policy lines or decisions conforming to national goals set by smart power constructors.This modern policy tool has gained particular importance in the U.S. policy where it was officially endorsed as a part of national strategy. At the same time important regional actors like Japan, China and South Korea also resort to intellectual tools in their policies directed at both domestic and overseas public opinion and political thinking. Having started with slogans designed to improve the image of ruling political teams, policy-makers in these countries increasingly promote ideas geared to appeal to political class inside and outside their countries in order to secure attainment of specific goals and advance ambitious policy tasks. Growing sophistication and powerful promotion of these ideas have become an obvious trend. Against this background, Russia’s neglect of intellectual aspects of promoting its own political tasks in the Asia-Pacific reflects the need for re-defining its “eastern” policy.
Keywords: smart power, soft power, foreign policy, Asia-Pacific region, regional security, U.S. leadership, abenomics, Chinese dream, connectivity, trust policy
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