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In international politics, we cannot ignore the fact that power of international actors plays a significant role in shaping their relationships and pursue their interests. According to Nye (2004, p.2), power in this place could be defined as “the ability to influence the behavior of others to get the outcomes one wants”. Furthermore, there is a need for categorisation because there is various form of power being used by countries. According to Boulding (1989), there are three form of powers which are destructive, productive and integrative. The first is to use military threat, the second is to use economic exchange and the third one is to create loyalty. Beyond that concept, Nye (2004) has defined power into two categories which are hard power and soft power. The former is similar to the first two categories of Boulding which is to give others something, which is either destructions or rewards in order to make them do something. For the latter, it is to attract countries to make them change behaviour that is in line with your desire.
There are soft power critics that disapprove and soft power advocates that push for soft power to be policy for their governments to use for pursuing interest. The problem is when it comes to actual policy, we could not accurately predict that which kind of power is better. Therefore, this essay would discuss the opinions from both side with the purpose to investigate the advantages and disadvantages in the practical dimension. Firstly, it would examine the claim and counterclaim that soft power depends too much on the other end of power because of the fact that it needs the attention and attraction that is more likely to be created by the receivers. In the second section, it would scrutinise the argument of uncontrollability of soft power for the user. Put it differently, it doesn’t possess the elements of being governmental policy, especially when  the source of power is so diffused. Lastly, this essay would insist that smart power approach is necessary for advancement of power usage policy because it blends together the benefits of two sides. Also, it has analysis process that would compensate disbenefit of the two mentioned claims.
Oppositional dependence of soft power
There is a claim from the critics of soft power that governments should not implement its concept to be their policy because it depends too much on other governments’ decision to be attracted or persuaded by one’s own government. For example, one could claim that countries bandwagon the US nowadays is not only because her own attempt to send out the information that she thinks would pull in others attention to be on her side. Instead, the important part in this process is with the judgment of countries that received those information. They are the ones who then have the decision power to be attracted or not attracted, to be persuaded or not persuaded, and eventually to bandwagon or not bandwagon. 
Moreover, object that is regarded as soft power will be judged based on local culture. Regarding American soft power, there are both culture that positively views and match this kind of soft power and another side of culture that would reject and mismatch with it. This is because every state has its own “cultural thoughtways” and which led to their own interpretation of information they receive from other country (Gray, 2011). It is here that soft power becomes problematic because the interpretational factor is beyond control. Even though a country could control strategy and pick method to deploy soft power, she could not control the essence of other culture and experience which are key to translate soft power of each nations. Hence, a country could not control its image that are portrayed to other countries.
However, the proponent side of soft power argues that actor can make active effort to creation other actors’ attraction to itself. For state actor, they have many choices such as public diplomacy, aid and assistance, exchange programmes and broadcasting information. Later, this essay will explain more about some of the policies that governments choose as their strategy. For non-state actor, they could also play an important role by applying soft power to their diplomacy. Especially in this globalisation era, Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), private corporations and even individual gain more leverage in international arena because information flows to their hand more than ever. Not only receiving, information age has also allowed them to spread their own information (Nye, 2001). Many NGOs such as Amnesty International or Green Peace have somewhat successfully influenced state to implement policies that are in line with their attention (Melissen, 2005).
Then, actors could apply soft power in both direct and indirect way (Nye, 2011). In direct way, soft power that is applied by the sender country would directly attracted the leaders of other countries. For example, this case happens when leaders give a powerful speech in summit and the listeners which are also leaders are convinced to follow what is on the speech with out any threat or payment. On the other hand, states can also attract others indirectly. This means that, instead of attract explicitly the leaders, states will attract citizens of that country or third party to then influenced the leaders to implement policies that is in accordance with the senders’ need. Public opinion will be both enabler and constraint to government policy initiatives. The latter way way is more usual than the former way.
After enough active effort of soft power disposal, we could see the result which is attraction that is grown inside the country or organisation such as government. This is because “cooperation is a matter of degree” (Nye, 2004, p. 29) After a while, the tree of soft power would bare fruit for the ones who grew this tree. They would be able to see the positive result which are the other side’s manner and strategy that the growers want. Therefore, from the advocative side of soft power, it seems clear that there is also the part that depend on the sending end.

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Uncontrollability of soft power
In the previous section, the essay has looked to the dependence of soft power towards oppositional force. From the critique of soft power, this shows the uncontrollable of soft power from the receiving end. In this section, this essay will talk about the uncontrollability of it from the sending end. Supporters of hard power usually view that military and economic instrument have the logic of policy which could be utilised easily by government (Gray, 2011). Unlike those tools, soft power could not present itself with the same kind of logic. In other words, actors could not control their soft power to be deployed efficiently and could not manage their soft power equipment harmoniously (Fan, 2008). Thus, soft power should not and could not be utilised as a policy.
Specifically, country’s military force could be seen to be much more suitable to be government policy because it has clearer hierarchy and process of power. One could notice that its centre of command is governmental agency, so government could tame its own military capability to be under its control (Gray, 2011, p.50). As a consequence, the administration of country could utilise armed force whenever they feel the need of using it. The same goes with implementation of economic measurement. Because international economic capability is mostly directed by governmental agencies such as foreign ministry (foreign aid), trade ministry (subsidisation of inter-state trade) or commercial ministry (support of economic cooperation). In contrast, there is no central authority of soft power. Particularly, nowadays much more easier access to information has led to the empowerment of non-state actors such as Civil Society Organisations and also individuals (Nye, 2011). As a consequence, it is harder for government to pick and use soft power as its policy when it needs to.
Nevertheless, we could see that each government, in reality, has their own way of adapting the concept of soft power into their strategy. In fact, soft power is like water from the tap. If you the water to runs harder, you just turn turn the tap harder. In the case of soft power, government is the tap controller. They can adjust policies in accordance with their requirement. From this idea, Nye has encouraged the US government to stockpile its soft power because it could help attract other countries’ government and shape their behaviour to the way it wants. This, according to him, is the means to success (Nye, 2004). This essay would like to mention a few example of soft power as government strategy under the concept of public diplomacy, which are student exchange programme and digital diplomacy to show how government turn concept of soft power into practical policy.
According to Melissen (2005), public diplomacy was the long accepted strategic tool of soft power. It is defined as a strategy of government of one nation aiming to increase direct relations with citizens of another nation in order to pursue its interest and promote its values (Sharp, 2005). Based on this definition, one could notice how soft power could be used as official plan to influence other country for sender’s benefits. As a consequence of development of communicative technology, we see the correlational increasing level of intensity in using soft power (Nye, 2001). In 1920s when broadcasting technology was invented, for instance, we saw the creation of British Broadcasting Corporation. In particular country such as the US, war has strongly helped shape the form of public diplomacy. For example, President Roosevelt established Office of Wartime Information (OWI) and Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to organise information accuracy and circulation (Nye, 2004). Now, let’s see the example of modern governmental policy under the arch of public diplomacy too see how soft power is utilised presently.
Firstly, to present student exchange programme in a soft power related dimension, Atkinson (2010) argues there are evidences support that the exchange programmes, both civilian and military, that is hosted by the US has effectively affect changes of liberalisation in values and practices inside the authoritarian states. In particular, it helps generate government’s inclination towards democratic beliefs such as freedom of speech or political participation. Additionally, Association of International Educators (NAFSA) (2003) encourages welcoming international student was tied to one of American policies to increase the level of bond and friendship with global arena because they are important to “counter global threat of terrorism”. This works because there is high possibility of international students to gain positive views and values towards hosted countries when they interact with local people (Steliz et al., 1963).
Secondly, digital diplomacy is now also a trend of government policy in affecting change desirable change in behaviour and policy of other governments. Bjola (2015) defines digital diplomacy in general as the use of social media for diplomatic purposes. States has now recognised the importance of social media as a tool to pursue their interest in international arena. Social media allows typical citizen to enjoy more access to information about global issues. In the other way around, it also allows diplomat to establish and remain more dialogues with citizens in other countries and spread and manage information that they want much more effectively. In the example case, Bjola and Jiang (2015) investigate the utilisation of EU delegation, Japan Embassy and American Embassy in Weibo (Chinese social media) to influence and attract Chinese people and government.

Smart power, smart solution
From arguments of critique and proponent side of soft power, one could see both advantages and disadvantages of soft power, and pros and cons of hard power. Because international politics is considered as three-dimensional chess game which position US as the unipolar military power, developed countries as economic multipolar power and transnational issues such as climate change are at the lowest dimension that power where power is highly separated, it is necessary to manage how to use power situationally not just differentiate it. In order to move beyond the differences, this essay would like to insist on another idea which can develop how countries could exercise their power more effectively. This would be done by combining the benefits of the two kind of power to create an alternative kind of power or the so-called “Smart power” (Nye, 2009). This idea, which was popularised by Armitage and Nye (2007), happened because it sees the problem of focusing only at soft or hard power. In other words, when just attraction doesn’t work and just military and economic could not provide the pleasant result, using them together could be the answer.
However, smart power is not just a choice of hard and soft power. It is rather an approach behind the usage of power selection for decision makers which will help setting agenda and institutional framework. Its final aim is to increase influence and legitimacy of countries that apply this method (Pallaver, 2011). To put it differently, smart power is “the capacity to choose the right forms of power to employ in relation to a particular context” (Pallaver, 2011, p.112). In this case, it treats power as merely a source with no ideology attached to it. Basically, it just focuses on the situation that leads to specific type of power to be brought into play.
According to Nye (2011), in order to apply soft power to national policy, countries need to consider five steps. Firstly, a country should learn clearly about their desired aims and results. Not only realising national object, governments and decision makers need to learn to how to prioritised those recognised goals because it is a permanent fact that one could not gain everything one wants. Apart from prioritisation, they need to set efficient trade-offs for achieving more important goal. Then, the administration needs to know about its resources. It needs thoroughly research on the storage and instrument of its power. Also, policy makers will have to be able to predict the availability of their power assets in various context. This is because power usually depends on context and some kind of tool depends more on context than other kind (Nye, 2004, p. 16).
The next thing that requires to be understood clearly is target populations of the policy that will be applied. If having power means having “the ability to influence the behavior of others to get the outcomes one wants” (Nye, 2004, p. 2), then that “others” seems very significant to know about.  Things such as their potential, capabilities and preference are needed to be correctly analyse. After the analysis, governmental policy need to be adapted and change to be in line with the knowledge about opponent. After that, decision makers need to have situational awareness with regards of power behaviour. Hard power is not panacea, and soft power is neither. In reality, there will be situations that need to be dealt with by the former and other situations that need to be dealt with by the latter. Additionally, there will be situations that have to be dealt with both soft and hard power. For example, in the situation of terrorism, we need hard power to fight with the actual extremist terrorists and we need soft power to ideationally counter the recruitment of people to join them (Eadie, 2016). Eventually, possibility of success need to be able to be predicted to prevent the failure. And if we predict loss more than gain, we need to go back to the first step to gain more knowledge in order to success.
All in all, we could see that smart power is the power to smartly collaborate soft power unit and hard power agency of the policy instrument in the way that they reciprocally support each other to build up productiveness and efficacy of a country’s power utilisation policy (Willson, 2008). Seeing the critiques of soft power that this essay has mentioned, we could see the compensation that smart power can give for those claims. For the oppositional dependent of the usage of power, for instance, smart power would fix this problem prominently by emphasizing the analysis of the group of people that the government are aiming to influence. Regarding to its uncontrollability towards the sender’s end, smart power approach would provide a lot of solution to this setback with such analyse as power resource or national capability.
After discussing critiques of soft power and its proponents’ claim, we could see that, firstly, soft power also holds the characteristics of being dependent on the sending as well as the receiving side. The reason is that we could notice various choices of power usage method that could be selected by the users both state and non-state actors. In addition, power users are free to choose to act directly, which is between leaders, or indirectly, which is decision makers towards citizen and then citizen will pressure leaders to make the desired decision, towards their target. One way or another, when soft power reach the optimum degree, desirable outcomes will likely to occur. Secondly, soft power is also controllable although it does not possess attributes of national policy such as hierarchy of power. When investigate more closely, we could find that governments have successfully implement policies that derive from the concept of soft power such as digital diplomacy or academic exchange programme. Those policies are under public diplomacy which has been respected as governmental strategic equipment for long time (Melissen, 2005). 
Seeing benefits of both kind of power, this essay has suggested that smart power approach could be the solution that could bring advancement to the power selection in policy dimension. Smart power is the concept that goes beyond the categorisation of power but is not the alternative type of power. Instead, it is the approach or process behind the selection of both type of power. Finally, smart power could compensate the critiques of soft power, which are oppositional dependence and uncontrollability, by answering questions about goal, resource, target population, context of situation, and possibility of success (Nye, 2011)