Language as a soft power resource
The case of Azerbaijan
The term soft power, developed by Joseph Nye, is a widely popular concept used to describe efforts to attract rather than coerce as means of persuasion. Language, which is widely viewed as a traditional (not to say extremely important) component of nationhood and a symbol of identity and group consciousness, can be used as an expression of soft power resources within this context. It is apparent that in today’s globalized world, the role of international languages as global means of communication has increased considerably. At the same time, English has become the de facto lingua franca in international trade, academia, technology and many other fields. Against this background, this article examines the impact of language as a soft power resource in the case of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which is a multi-ethnic state located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Due to its geographic location, the constant migrations of people who have passed through its territory throughout the centuries, and it has long been a zone of active interaction of languages, cultures and civilizations.