Soft power, according to Joseph Nye, in 2004, is ‘the ability to affect others through the co-optive means of framing the agenda, persuading, and eliciting positive attraction in order to obtain preferred outcomes’. The United States is applying many initiatives and policies of soft power in the Arab world. No other state holds as much widespread cultural attractiveness around the globe as much as the United States. Yet, America’s political and cultural popularity in the Middle East, including the Arab world, is still relatively low when compared with other regions of the world. In 2014, from the 10 states that were most unfavourable toward the United States, five were Arab states. Therefore, like hard power, soft power also has its own limits. This article focuses on the reasons and conditions that impose such constrictions and limits on US soft power in the Arab world.

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