Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

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Joseph S. Nye, Jr. (born 1937) is the founder, along with Robert Keohane, of the international relations theory (neoliberalism) developed in their 1977 book Power and Interdependence. Together with Keohane, he developed the concepts of asymmetrical interdependence and complex interdependence. They also explored transnational relations and world politics in an edited volume in the 1970s.

Nye is currently University Distinguished Service Professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and previously served as dean there. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Princeton University and, after studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics as a Rhodes Scholar at Exeter College, Oxford, obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard. He attended Morristown Prep (now the Morristown-Beard School) in Morristown, NJ and graduated in 1954.

Nye has published many works in recent years, the most recent:

  • Understanding International Conflicts, 6th ed., 2006
  • The Power Game: A Washington Novel, 2004
  • Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics, 2004
  • The Paradox of American Power, 2002.

Nye first coined the term soft power in the late 1980s; it first came into widespread usage following a piece written by Nye in Foreign Policy in the early 1990s.

Nye also served as Deputy to the Undersecretary of State in the Carter Administration; Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Clinton Administration, and was considered by many to be the preferred choice for National Security Advisor in the 2004 presidential campaign of John Kerry. He is widely recognized as one of the foremost liberal thinkers on foreign policy, and is seen by some as the counter to renowned Harvard conservative Samuel P. Huntington.

In 2005 Nye was voted one of the ten most influential scholars of international relations[1].

He has been awarded the Woodrow Wilson Prize by Princeton University and the Humphrey Prize by the American Political Science Association. In 2005 he was awarded the Honorary Patronage of the University Philosophical Society of Trinity College Dublin.


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