File photo : Songkran Festival
December 1, 2023: News reports say Thailand has approved Bt5.1 billion to promote its “soft power”. What conclusion can we draw from this?
The simplest answer is that lots of state money, which forms the crux of “hard power”, are still required to promote something it has no business promoting.
Wikipedia defines “soft power” as the following: “Soft power contrasts with “hard power” (which is) the use of coercion and payment. Soft power can be wielded not just by states but also by (other) actors in international politics, such as NGOs or international institutions. … A country’s soft power rests on three resources: “Its culture (in places where it is attractive to others), its political values (when it lives up to them at home and abroad), and its foreign policies (when others see them as legitimate and having moral authority.”
How much of the above is violated by the fact that a politicians-led state spending of up to Bt5.1 billion is needed to promote Thailand’s “soft power”?
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