Segments in this Video

Meet the Panelists (01:32)


Debate moderator Mary Ann Sieghart frames the question of economic vs. military power and introduces Tony Blair speech writer Phil Collins, former International Development Secretary Clare Short, and Oxford historian Rana Mitter.

Philip Collins: the Pitch (03:49)

Collins argues that hard power is a given in global geopolitics. Libya will be disastrous, whether or not Britain becomes involved. He says Britain should retain a military and intellectual hard power capability, while bolstering soft power.

Clare Short: the Pitch (03:56)

Short argues that poor political international leadership is a global crisis. Countries like Syria, Iran, and North Korea cannot be dealt with militarily but NATO should hold its stance against Russia. She advocates more effective U.N. peacekeeping and says the U.K. and Europe should collaborate better against Russia and China.

Rana Mitter: the Pitch (05:14)

Mitter discusses anticipation of conflict in East Asia. He argues that, despite China's increased military spending and Japan's high tech military, economic relations will maintain regional peace. Cold War politics have been replaced by competition and coercion.

Theme One: Is Hard Power Still Relevant? - Part One (07:08)

Mitter argues Russia's nationalism is a response to domestic social and economic issues—including failing to diversify beyond oil. Short and Collins discuss Western hard and soft power responses to Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine and disagree whether the West provoked Russia. Panelists agree the West failed to help Russia transform into a viable economic model.

Is Hard Power Still Relevant? - Part Two (05:12)

Soft power includes successful economies and economic sanctions. Panelists discuss China's investment in developing and developed countries. Collins questions whether Chinese motives are purely economic—exemplified in their financial support of Sri Lanka. Mitter says China will not establish communist regimes in other countries, and has navigated different African political systems.

Theme Two: What is the Price of Exerting Power? - Part One (07:06)

Short discusses favorable African views of the Chinese political model. Mitter compares democratically elected nationalists and argues that China does not strategically back dictators. Short calls for a multilateral system to integrate China and the U.S. She argues the West has provoked Russia, and proposes a new containment policy protecting Ukraine. Mitter says China takes economic advantage of Russia.

What is the Price of Exerting Power? - Part Two (03:48)

Collins brings up Modi's admiration of Chinese authoritarian capitalism. Mitter discusses relations between India and China and argues that, while China is more economically successful in the short term, India's "raucous" democracy will bring long term success. Short references nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan.

Theme Three: How Do We Deal with Military Aggression? (08:51)

Although the Soviet threat is gone, Western nations retain nuclear weapons programs. Panelists discuss how Britain’s conditions for military invasion have been interpreted in Libya, Iraq, and Syria. Short argues for exhausting all alternatives before using military force, and planning to rebuild a country afterwards.

Credits: Guns and Butter: Hard and Soft power (00:06)

Credits: Guns and Butter: Hard and Soft power

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Guns and Butter: Hard and Soft power

Part of the Series : Institute of Art and Ideas: Cutting Edge Debates and Talks from the World's Leading Thinkers
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
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3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Early in 2014, Obama teased Putin that we had grown out of military solutions. That was before Russia invaded Ukraine and US bombers returned to the Middle East. Is it a fantasy to imagine the economy has replaced the barrel of the gun as the real source of power? Or is this a short route to Armageddon?

The Panel

Oxford historian Rana Mitter and politician Clare Short, who resigned from the cabinet over the Iraq war, are joined by Tony Blair's chief speech writer Philip Collins to question where true power lies.

Length: 47 minutes

Item#: BVL115744

ISBN: 978-1-63521-101-6

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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