THE POWER OF INFORMATION: THE INTERNET AND THE RISE OF SOFT POWER
Schreurs, Miranda A
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This dissertation explores how the Internet changes the concept of political power. It focuses on information as a source of political power, and the relationship between information and power. As a conceptual analysis of the impact of the Internet on political power shift, it argues that the Internet transforms the concept of power from hard to soft. This dissertation argues: (i) the Internet changes power sources from material, such as military or economic, to non-material, such as information or policies; (ii) the Internet promotes the rise of soft power in international relations. This dissertation aims to improve theoretical as well as empirical understanding of information as a source of political power, and to conceptualize political power from hard to soft. According to Nye, soft power is defined as "the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion." This study begins with an analysis of the concept of power in politics, and continues to analyze the impact of the Internet on the conceptualization of political power. This dissertation examines the Internet as a new form of communication media with particular emphasis on the political use of the Internet. Then, it explores digital divide, and discusses some implications of the changed concept of power for two Koreas and the U.S.