Monday, February 26, 2018

Notes about the noosphere and noopolitik — #1: Introductory comments about a new series of posts

As mentioned elsewhere, former co-author John Arquilla and I have been asked — and we’ve agreed — to update our ten-year-old chapter for a new revised edition of a 2009 handbook on public diplomacy. Our chapter back then was titled “Noopolitik: A New Framework for Public Diplomacy”. Not sure what our new title will be, but I do know we will do a major update and rewrite. I also know it might help keep me motivated if I post some draft pieces here as I go along, especially if comments ensue.

In brief, our argument is as follows: As the information age deepens, a globe–circling realm of the mind is being created — the “noosphere” that Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (and others) identified ninety years ago. This will increasingly affect the nature of grand strategy and diplomacy. Traditional realpolitik, which ultimately relies on hard (principally military) power, will give way to the rise of noöpolitik (or noöspolitik), which relies on soft (principally ideational) power. Ultimately, noöpolitik is about whose story wins.

Our original RAND report, titled The Emergence of Noopolitik: Toward An American Information Strategy (1999), is available here:
Our follow-up paper, “The promise of noöpolitik” (2007), which summarizes the RAND report and was edited down for the chapter in the public diplomacy handbook, is here:

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