Information operations · Information Warfare

Challenging the snake-oil salesmen: a critique of British approaches to soft power

Pages 1-17 | Published online: 05 Jan 2018

Soft power is one of the most familiar, yet misunderstood concepts in international relations. It is often used to describe cultural attraction and familiarity with a place in the belief that ‘to know us is to love us’. However, this paper calls for a reappraisal of soft power to focus more on political culture and behaviour – the power of example. Drawing on the experience of the United Kingdom the paper suggests that if the country wishes to confront and manage the challenges it now faces, including the uncertainty of Brexit, then a new understanding of soft power is required.