Keith McCabe and Professor Inderjeet Parmar will look at the changing debate on climate change and international politics from Kyoto to Copenhagen and if we're all heading for the proverbial iceberg.
Keith McCabe will concentrate on what has changed about the language and content of the discussion on Climate Change from Kyoto to Copenhagen, and since. Keith will also outline how engineers have been responding to the challenges posed by the way the discussion on reducing carbon and other man made emissions is formulated. Alongside Keith will be Professor Inderjeet Parmar who will look at the way in which US Foreign Policy has changed over a similar time period, outlining some key arguments aired in the new book he's jointly edited entitled 'Soft Power and US Foreign Policy: Theoretical, Historical and Contemporary Perspectives'.
The rise of widespread negative attitudes towards US foreign policy, especially due to the war of aggression against Iraq and the subsequent military occupation of the country – has brought new attention to the meaning and instruments of soft power. Soft power, described by Inderjeet, is the use of attraction and persuasion rather than the use of coercion or force in foreign policy. It arises from the attractiveness of a country's culture, political ideals and policies, whereas hard power develops out of a country's military or economic might. The discussion will also be an opportunity to question Inderjeet over the essays in the book by an outstanding line up of contributors providing the most extensive discussion of soft power to date.
Inderjeet says that Soft Power has become part of popular political discourse since it was coined by Harvard’s Joseph Nye, and this volume features a brand new chapter by Nye outlining his views on soft, hard and smart power and offers a critique of the Bush administration’s inadequacies. He then goes on to examine the challenges for the incoming US president. The other contributions to the volume respond to Nye's views from a range of theoretical, historical and policy perspectives giving new insights in to both soft power and the concept of power itself. This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of this key concept in foreign affairs and is essential reading for scholars of US foreign policy, public diplomacy, international relations and foreign policy analysis.
Attendees will be invited to look at the way US and many western elites are dealing with international politics and discussions over climate change for example rather differently to those of some eastern elites. For example, Xie Zhenhua of China's National Development & Reform Commission has been quoted as saying "There are disputes in the scientific community. We have to have an open attitude to the scientific research. There's an alternative view that climate change is caused by cyclical trends in nature itself. We have to keep an open attitude." This is an approach that has come in for general criticism in the west, so will the Salon discussion will try and provide the right context to explain the difference and tension.
Professor Inderjeet's introduction - click on the Play button:
Keith McCabe's introduction - click on the Play button:
Inderjeet and Keith's midway comments - click on the Play button:
Inderjeet and Keith's summing up comments - click on the Play button:
Note: Alas you had to be there for the audience discussion as that wasn't recorded.