“Hard” and “Soft” Power of the Continental Empire: Reminiscences on a Historical Subject
Vodichev Evgeny
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.1.2-326-351

In this paper, the author attempts to apply the concept of ‘soft power’ developed by J. Nye, which has been established in the field of international relations and political science, to the historical domain, and specifically to the analysis of basic trends in the development of the Russian Empire and the USSR. The peculiarities of the balance of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ power tools are identified with regards to the totalitarian (authoritarian) and democratic regimes. The concept of ‘smart power’ is placed into the context of historical research. The author points out the connection between the mechanisms of ‘soft power’ and the development of civil society. Russia and the USSR are presented as continental empires of the colonial type, which possessed internal colonies and dependent territories. Against the background of the general patterns of development of continental empires, which include territorial expansion, the specifics of the USSR are shown. It is determined that expanding the resource base under the dominance of the vector of extensive development, ensuring ‘security’ of the imperial ‘heartland’ at the expense of peripheral territories, and maintaining the geopolitical status have been the key drivers of development of continental empires. In relation to the USSR, the specific function of the metropolis, or capital city of the empire, is underlined. The author pays particular attention to the development of the eastern territories, and Siberia as an internal colony, that was based on the principle of ‘a region for the country’ while ignoring its own interests and internal needs. This has formed a stable matrix of suboptimal centre-periphery relations in the country. It is noted that the empire preserved itself as a single state based on the synergy of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ power, projected both into the intra-imperial space and outside. The gradual degradation of the ‘smart power’ tools used by the Soviet regime is shown. It is concluded that the collapse of the USSR meant an imbalance and loss of efficiency in the use of factors and tools of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ power, and now Russia is still experiencing a post-imperial syndrome. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the loss of satellite countries made it necessary to shift the emphasis to internal stabilization. However, the influence of two key arguments: nuclear weapons and huge resources and territory, ensured the preservation of the previous ambitions.

Priority Areas of Japan’s “Soft Power” Policy in the 21-st Century
Moskvina Olga,  Kolyshkina Svetlana
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.1.2-352-371

The article analyzes the term ‘soft power’ policy, developed by J. Nye, in relation to Japan as the country with the largest resource of its application due to the need of national business to adopt foreign cultural experience. The limitations of its use in the country’s foreign policy are associated with the internal conservative orientation of Japanese culture and society, Japan’s militaristic past, demographic problems and the language barrier, as well as competition with other states. The spheres of implementation of the ‘soft power’ policy are economic, ideological, diplomatic, and cultural. According to the statements of Japanese officials, the following priority areas and goals for applying the ‘soft power’ policy in the 21st century are highlighted: expanding cooperation with the world community, including investments; promoting Japanese pop culture and promoting the national language on the world stage through educational organizations and funds. Organizations that implement ‘soft power’ policy in the country are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Advisory Council, the Japan Foundation, the Japan-Russia Youth Exchange Center, etc. These organizations offer programs for academic and student exchange, acquisition of educational materials, grants for holding events and translations of different kinds of literature, attracting foreign labor to the country and developing diplomacy. In order to achieve the goal set by the Japanese government, international competitions in the Japanese language, an international exam for knowledge of the Japanese language, and Japanese centers abroad are created, financed by the state and receive various subsidies and benefits. The main feature and trump card of Japan is that the country acts within the framework of the promotion of values that are reflected in the status of the country through humanitarian assistance, a positive image of the state and positive education. In the conclusion, the authors highlight the fact that Japan managed to create a positive image of the country in the international arena; strengthen economic, political and cultural ties at different levels; reinforce the position of Japan in the world community as one of the leading countries; export the Japanese traditions and culture to other countries.