No 10, Issue 1       




Is soft power an effective strategy? Libya and North Korea offer a study in contrasts



Pages 5-18




Soft power can be effective as a standalone strategy, but such efforts only succeed when consistent with the sponsoring state’s underlying culture and characteristics. Historically, soft power initiatives have not received the focus, priority, or resources that hard power initiatives have, largely because it is more difficult to see and measure how effective soft power strategies are. To understand how well soft power strategies can work, it is necessary to see how they have been executed – successfully and otherwise. The soft power strategies enacted by North Korea and Libya offer the necessary study in contrasts, with the former’s Arirang festival a strong case in how to use soft power effectively and the latter’s hopes of becoming a tourism destination illustrating the flaws of building a soft power strategy on a weak foundation. Hard power will always be a staple of security strategy, but fighting is expensive. Integrating soft power into the
strategic mix can make security more cost-effective and reliable.


Strategy, soft power, North Korea, Libya, smart power, strategic studies



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