South Africa: Let the Games Begin - the Battle for the Heart and Soul of the ANC Will Involve Hard, Soft and Smart Power

Former president Zuma (file photo).
opinion

The ANC's top six officials are taking us for fools. We are wasting time mollycoddling both Ace Magashule and Jacob Zuma, and forgetting that there is a much bigger risk at play here -- that of losing our grip on the levers of power both in the ANC and the state.

In wanting to understand the current power plays and strategies employed by the various factions in the ANC, and now evidently also in government and Parliament, I seek answers from the vast number of theories out there about power and strategy.

In this regard, I read and consulted a number of readings that debunked the three concepts of power -- hard power, soft power and, indeed, smart power. Scholars such as Cahn, Carr and Morgenthau all speak to the concept of hard power, whereas Joseph Nye debunks the concept of soft power and Suzanne Nossel debunks smart power.*

According to some of these authors, "the term 'hard power' describes a nation or political body's ability to use economic incentives or military strength to influence other actors' behaviours. It relies on a measure of power propounded by the realist school in international relations theory. In the realist school, power is...

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