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Soft Power and Korean Wave Summary

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Soft power and the Korean Wave (J. Nye/Y. Kim) – Summary
Gabriela Santana, Jan/2015

1A Soft power: The ability to strengthen mutual [political] cooperation potentials and exercise [political] influence through attraction. It can be contrasted with hard power: HARD POWER (FORCE) | SOFT POWER (ATTRACTION) | Military technology EconomyCoercive diplomacyAggressive and threatening | Culture (acceptability)Political values (admiration and trust)Foreign policiesAttract and co-opt |
1B

1C “Carrots and sticks”: The combination of rewards and punishment to induce behavior. Inspired by this idiom, Nye suggests three main ways to exercise power in order to reach one’s desirable outcome: 1) threats and coercion (“sticks”); 2) inducements or payments (“carrots”); 3) attraction that makes others want the same thing you want (“soft power”).
2A Signs of soft power potential in South Korea: Economic success Democratic political system (human rights; free elections; distribution of power) Korean tradition (art, crafts and cuisine) Success of Korean diaspora overseas.
2B Strategies to enhance the soft power: Attracting foreign students Increasing its overseas assistance outside Asia Government, companies, universities and non-profit organizations working together to develop and sponsor Korean cultural projects in order to gain visibility...... Hosting international conferences and events that draw attention to its success.
3A Korean Wave as soft power tool: Encouraged by the globalizing market forces in a digital age, the exportation of Korean cultural products, as Korean Drama and K-pop, have become a “cool” way to promote the country.
3B “I wish I could visit Korea someday”: Korean Wave is understood in other cultural spheres raising an interest in Korean studies and Korean language amongst young generation.
3C Recreation of national image and cultural identity: South Korea is still associated with the Korean War (North Korea), mobile phones or cars, more than with its culture.
3D “Visit Korea” and other campaigns: National policies support the global circulation of Korean popular culture for the creation of soft power.
4A Korean Wave soft power and its limits: Soft power assets contribute to increase visibility and enhance reputation of the country; however, it is still a challenge to clearly measure its effects.
4B What South Korea was associated with before and after has taken the opportunity of the Korean Wave: BEFORE KOREAN WAVE | AFTER KOREAN WAVE | Korean WarNorth KoreaTechnology (mobile phones, cars, etc.)Resentment | Korean Pop culture productionFashion, cosmeticsCosmopolitanSympathy |

4C Partial and distorted picture: The portrait designed by the new policies in order to increase soft power and establish a good image overseas can be interpreted as deceptive. As “Japanese cool”, some say that Korean Wave does not necessarily help on understanding the Korean culture.
5A Culture as transnational commodity and capital: Korean Wave is presented as a crossover of culture and economy. The authors point out that Korean culture industry is commodifying the nation by exporting its popular culture as a cool national brand.
5B Korean Wave and hard power: This dependency on the Korean Wave to create soft power and build up new markets it is, in truth, an economic strategy (hard power).
6A Hegemony masked in soft power: The Korean Wave popular culture “can ironically generate a new version of cultural imperialism that is deeply embedded in cultural nationalism and its ideological position going against cultural diversity and soft power attraction”.

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