Asan Plenum

Session: Night Session
Date/Time: April 24, 2018 / 21:00-22:30

Gilbert Rozman, The Asan Forum

Choi Kang, The Asan Institute for Policy Studies
Hosoya Yuichi, Keio University
John Park, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center
Jane Perlez, The New York Times
Christopher Walker, National Endowment for Democracy

Panel Description
Authoritarian influence is penetrating deep into the heart of the LIO via “sharp power.” As opposed to “soft power,” sharp power is not concerned with winning the “hearts and minds” of its targets. Rather, sharp power is the means by which authoritarian regimes coerce and manipulate foreign populations through propaganda and the promotion of false narratives or “fake news.” What may appear to be innocent cultural exchange programs or state sponsored media are often tools used by a regime to legitimize its grip on power while putting a positive spin on illiberal values for Western audiences. As these tools become more sophisticated, their ability to disrupt Western society grows. How can the West counter the influence of “sharp power?”