The Silk Routes have long been a passage for exchange of goods and commodities as well as the exchange of religion and culture. One aspect in the exchange of culture, was the soft power that was generated along with it, which in turn facilitated closer ties between states and/or formed unique bonds between people of different cultures. Soft power is the ability of obtaining the desired result through attraction and cooperation and hence, it arises due to the attractiveness of a country’s culture, political ideals, and policies. The network of Silk Routes helped with the exchange of various aspects of civilization's culture, like art, religion, technology, language and science, which had been carried along with commercial goods the merchants traded. Hence, cross border trade and cultural exchange helping to build mutual respect and trust between states became the legacy of the Silk Routes. The current Belt and Road initiative seeks to directly build upon this legacy, increasing economic and cultural connectivity to reduce suspicion and promote common prosperity. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the legacy of soft power of the original Silk Road Trade Routes and in relation to that examine how soft power plays a part, along the current 'Silk Route,' in creating bonds between states and people.
Mitrajit Bakshi, Independent Scholar, India
Stream: Cultural Studies
This paper is part of the ACCS2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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