Between soft and hard power

One can also create indicators that encompass state power in a synthetic way, considering both soft and hard power. One of such indicators is the Comprehensive National Power Index created by Chinese political scientists, which measures factors that are characteristic of hard power—the number of resources and military and economic potential. But it also considers scientific, educational and diplomatic potential1. Nevertheless, the military factors hold a bigger sway in this index.

Another interesting example of combining hard and soft power is the Index of National Power prepared by US and Korean political scientists2. According to its authors, it measures the ability to compete—in war, business and sports. It also estimates the probability of a victory in case of conflicts in these areas3. The US holds the top spot, followed by Japan and Germany. Poland holds a high 16th place4. This ranking, although it also favours hard power, by including sports also includes soft power components.

The indicator described in our publication also seeks to measure the soft power aspect (diplomacy, education) and hard power (army, economy, demography). Nevertheless, it is important to note, that between these two poles, it gives certain advantage to hard power because of the international context sketched out in this chapter.

  1. H. Angang, M. Honghua, Comprehensive National Power and Grand Strategy, “Strategy and Management” 2002, No. 3.
  2. J. Kim, S. Kim, J. Wang, Index of National Power: How to Assess the Basic Capacity of a Nation, “Korean Journal of Sociology” 2013, Vol. 47 (6), p. 83-140.
  3. J. Kim, Welcome to the Measurement of National Power Project, 2014.
  4. J. Kim et al., Index of National Power 2016.