The US was once the undisputed global powerhouse. Now it is under threat from contenders who use the influence of culture and lifestyle to fight for global economic and political dominance.
This political manipulation is referred to as soft power – achieving what you want by attracting and persuading others to adopt your customs - thriving on control, not force.
In this series, Philip Dodd investigates how this cultural rivalry is being formed and what weapons of persuasion are being deployed, from global sporting fixtures to cultural events and educational projects.
In part two he finds out if the values and culture of India can rival those of China - to make New Delhi Asia's soft superpower.
A new India
Philip looks at India's post independence demise to its new found confidence after the Oscar success of Slumdog Millionaire.
He also finds out how India is using its culture, IT knowledge and command of English to push the country's brand globally.
With China's success hosting the Olympic Games and the Shanghai Expo - will India as host of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi this year be able to show the world a new modern side?
First broadcast on 24 May 2010