Leslie Gelb Links Power and Foreign Policy

Question: What is power?

 

Leslie Gelb: Power, to me, and I think power historically, has been the ability to get others to do something they don't want to do. It's a political and psychological relationship. It's using carrots and sticks to create an impression in someone's mind of what you can do to help them or to harm them. It's about pressure and coercion.

 

Question: What is effective foreign policy?

 

Leslie Gelb: Effective foreign policy really comes down to common sense. It's understanding what's attainable, which power can produce, and what's not attainable. It's understanding how to use your power because you understand just what power you do have and how it's going to affect other societies and other political leaders, some things that Americans rarely understand. So it comes down to common sense judgments.

In international relations, it puts you on the mountain and if you have the most power at the top of the mountain. But it also should give you responsibility if you have power because you have the power to get things done, solve problems. That's an awesome responsibility.

 

Recorded on 5/1/09.

 

The author discusses how power combined with common sense and responsibility leads to effective diplomacy.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

Why avoiding logical fallacies is an everyday superpower

10 of the most sandbagging, red-herring, and effective logical fallacies.

Photo credit: Miguel Henriques on Unsplash
Personal Growth
  • Many an otherwise-worthwhile argument has been derailed by logical fallacies.
  • Sometimes these fallacies are deliberate tricks, and sometimes just bad reasoning.
  • Avoiding these traps makes disgreeing so much better.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

Videos
  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
Keep reading Show less