How Soft Power Can Create Better Future

ARTICLES | Apr 20, 2022
How Soft Power Can Create Better Future

Power can be used constructively for long-term well-being.

Power to change society has 2 forms. Hard Power with commands and penalties can have negative outcomes. But Soft Power can change thoughts, attitudes, values, and behavior within and beyond the nation.

Soft power stems from famous people, food, culture, art, media, and entertainment in the form of literature, dramas, movies, music, performances. Media attention can achieve a momentary impact, but social issues may require continuous pushing to draw the attention of the masses and bring tangible change.

A celebrity’s words or actions can create ripples in social, economic, political, and human values. Broader impacts can also be achieved such as debate on socially sensitive issues such as technology, the environment, legal processes. Soft Power can also boost the creative economy, creating jobs, expanding businesses, and attracting foreign investment by enhancing the country's image.

Many countries provide examples, such as South Korea’s Korea Culture and Content Agency (KOCCA). A study by the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism found that just one song, "Dynamite" by boy band BTS, earned $1.43 billion in intellectual property royalties for South Korea and created 7,928 jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Soft Power can also be used by the social sector. South Korean series promote cultural products such as food, culture, way of life, and tourist attractions. But they also reinforce national values, such as respect for the opposite sex and love for family. Japan’s comic industry addresses domestic violence and sexual harassment and promotes creativity in the young. Stories stress the value of friendship and authenticity, the need to accept mistakes and move on, and the importance of escaping the old framework of society.

Thailand is an interesting multicultural countries with great food, travel, and outstanding service. The entertainment and media industry is strong, creative, and constantly evolving. Thailand is currently 35th out of 120 countries in the Soft Power Index by BranfFinance 2022. The industries in Thailand with the best brand image are banking, finance, and telecommunications.

The government’s 5F push for food, film, fashion, fighting (martial arts), and festivals brings cultural benefits that can suit the current era and access social groups, enabling Thailand to effectively implement Soft Power to create a multidimensional future.

Implications for the future:

- The image of the country will be communicated to attract tourists for economic activities. But flexible rules and regulations are needed to create opportunities for the economy.

- The government should continue to support the entertainment industry and must be open to content presentation including by reducing bureaucratic procedures to respond to the speedy and competitive driving of entertainment media for high media space.

- The future of leisure or entertainment activities should be another sector to attract more foreign investment.


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