Gevorg M. Ghukasyan
The article presents the foundations, origins and development of “soft power” theory, as well as the interests served by that theory. The post-war perception of traditional power and the need for a “soft power” theory are also discussed.
There are many parallels between the “soft power” theory and the lobbying institute, functional similarities and correlations in the framework of Political Science. The article tries to present that correlations, which can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of individual or complex applications of these tools and on better understanding of phenomena within political science.
The thing is that both the lobbying toolbar and “soft power” technology actually work on public opinion to have influence. The only difference is that normally the “soft power” technology dictated by the dominant actor, but in the case of lobbying, the decoration of public opinion is implemented in public scope, however, the ultimate target is not the society but the decision makers through that society. So the ultimate target of both are the elites anyway.
In “soft power” technology, one of the targets is the formation of decision-making frameworks with a specific outlook, and in the case of lobbying, as a rule, the decisionmakers are again the target. The toolkits for reaching the target may be different.
In other words, “soft power” policy usually seeks to form an elite, and lobbying attempts to turn the already formed elite into a target of political pressure, often using technological tools of “soft power” policy.
Therefore, it is important to understand the theoretical and practical aspects of the above correlation and many other parallels, as well as to find out what layers of parallel development apply to functional co-operation and theoretical combination.
Thus, both in the use of “soft power” and in lobbying, an attempt is made:
– some modification or targeted guidance of public opinion in ways that exclude traditional use of force,
– to achieve the desired decisions by methods that exclude the traditional use of force,
– to achieve the expected result through persuasion and attraction, as well as by sharing the same civilizational perceptions and values,
– to create a circle of friends and relatives to solve any issue,
– to take advantage of the wide range of tools and opportunities provided by public diplomacy, etc.
In both cases, we are dealing with unique and well-established institutions of the political process that are political forces and factors that exclude the use of traditional perceptions of force – military, financial transactions, and coercion, with the exception of corrupt manifestations of lobbying, but of an elementary nature. they don’t.
It should be noted that the theory of “soft power”, formed in the political school of a state seeking global influence, and, in effect, being a tool of state policy, was adopted and adapted by non-state organizations, especially lobbying organizations. So it is no coincidence that “soft power” tools began to be used, in fact, long before their introduction, which coincided with the unprecedented rise of the lobbying institute. Therefore, it can also be concluded that the advance and present rise of the “soft power” policy and lobbying institute have been largely dependent on one another.