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The Internet: An (other) agent that disseminates Japanese 'soft power' resources

  • Published : 2012.04.30

Abstract

The popularity of the Internet has affected international politics in many ways; however, it is seemingly overlooked by most scholars, and in particular, realists who view the Internet as low-politics. This article argues that the impact of the Internet on international politics should not be underestimated. By focusing on the capabilities of the Internet in general and P2P networks in particular, this paper shows how the Internet is able to disseminate soft power resources. This is demonstrated by an examination of the dissemination of Japanese soft power resources through BitTorrent. Finally, it is concluded that the Internet is a plausible agent for distributing the resources of soft power; however, once disseminated, soft power resources do not always transform into soft power. In the end, contextual conditions within states always apply.

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