You are on page 1of 82

POP POWER:
Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

Pop Culture as a tool for Cultural Diplomacy, for constructing a Global
Society in the context of International Relations. Case: South Korea
and Japan in Peru.

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez

Pop Power: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society
Digital Edition
All rights reserved. The use of any part of this publication
reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic, mechanical, printing, recording, or otherwise, or
stored in a retrieval system, without prior written consent
of the publisher is an infringement of the copyright law.
Cover design: Pandaepan
E-mail: pandaepan@gmail.com
ISBN: 978-612-00-1693-0

1st Edition, 2014.

Author - Editor
© Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez, 2014

Jr. Tacna 3162, San Martín de Porres, Lima.
Phone: (51) (1) 990537391
E-mail: luisantoniovidalp@gmail.com
E-book available on www.kolazdice.com

Lima - Peru

INDEX

Acknowledgments

vii

Preface

ix

CAP I: Pop Culture: What is it, where does it come from and where is it going?

1.

POPULAR CULTURE: A world of possibilities

01

2.

POP CULTURE: What is it and where is it going?

03

3.

POP CULTURE IN ASIA

05

3.1. JAPANESE POP CULTURE: The magical world of Anime

05

3.1.1.

08

JAPANESE POP CULTURE IN PERU: Anime y the otaku community

3.2. KOREAN POP CULTURE: Kpop, soundtrack of globalization

10

3.2.1.

13

KOREAN POP CULTURE IN PERU: The biggest fandom in Latin America

CAP II: Cultural Diplomacy, Nation Branding and International Relations
1.

CULTURAL DIPLOMACY

15

1.1. JAPANESE CULTURAL DIPLOMACY

18

1.2. KOREAN CULTURAL DIPLOMACY

21

2. NATION BRANDING

22

2.1. MEASSURING DEL NATION BRANDING: Los Rankings

24

3.

26

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: A theoretical approach

3.1. THE CONSTRUCTIVIST THEORY

28

3.2. THE COSMOPOLITAN THEORY

29

3.3. COSMOPOLITAN CONSTRUCTIVISM

30

CAP III: Pop Power
1.

POP CULTURE: A complex system

32

2.

POP CULTURE: A new language

35

3.

THE HYPERCENTRAL CULTURE

37

4.

POP COSMOPOLITANISM: Cosmopolitan Pop Culture

40

5.

POP COSMOPOLITANISM: A new type of activism

43

CAP IV: Pop Diplomacy
1.

POP DIPLOMACY: Forefront of Foreign Policy

48

2.

POP DIPLOMACY AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

49

3.

CULTURAL POLICY IN PERU

51

4.

POP DIPLOMACY IN PERU: Is it possible?

54

5.

DIPLOMACIA POP PARA UNA SOCIEDAD GLOBAL

56

CAP V: Conclusions

61

Bibliography

64

Acknowledgments
I’d like to thank:
My family and friends for their unconditional support, especially my sister María del Carmen.
The Ex Korean Consul in Peru, Mr. Hwang-roh Lee, for his time and support.
Patricia Díaz Cano and Katty Durand for their time and advice, and Dr. Fernando Carvallo for
his words of encouragement.
The staff from ANIMEFLV, for their valuable contribution to this research.
All of the Anime and Kpop fans for giving some color to this gray city and keeping illusions
alive.

Preface

The world is changing. The relationships between humans are too. The political, social
and economic crises seem to increase. Faced with the possibility of having failed as a
society we withdraw our attention from the small great progress on building an
international community. In this context, the dialogue between nations in terms of its
states is the best way for us to solve the problems humanity is facing as a whole and
build bridges of mutual support for global development. Through formal mechanisms
such as diplomacy, leaders of the free world established aid programs, shut down wars
before they happen and make their way in emerging markets.
Diplomacy is a major component in the life of a State because of its ability to handle it
properly depends on building stable relations with other states. Even if this activity is
often linked to political and economic State interests, there are other aspects in
diplomacy that can have as much or more relevance in social life, such as culture.
Cultural Diplomacy makes its big entrance as the responsible for establishing relations
between countries through cultural resources and expressions from each of those.
In the context of theories of International Relations, the objectives of Cultural
Diplomacy fit in the systemic position of Constructivism: the identities and practices of
states are created from the interactions produced by international policies, in this case
the foreign relations policies managed through diplomacy.
If intercultural communication can establish an atmosphere of multilateral cooperation
in a framework of stability, this practice will end up reconfiguring International
Relations policies toward a world of greater understanding and mutual support, not
only at a State level but also with its population. "A core feature of cultural and public
diplomacies may be precisely the construction of collective identities of peace,
understanding and diversity at the international level." (Villanueva Rivas, 2010)
In fact, culture has been very active in the diplomatic life of many countries, especially
the major powers who saw it as a viable way to expand or to achieve adherence to
their cause, as happened with the United States in Latin America during the Cold War.
That raw material which states use to get to other countries’ people is Popular Culture.
Contemporary Popular Culture or Pop Culture is determined by current trends. Music,
fashion, films and other art forms are aligned with market preferences, i.e., of the
masses, and obey the consumption patterns of the group.
In Latin America, the American Pop Culture has a great influence, cementing the
dominance of USA not only politically and economically but also at a cultural level.
However, America is not the only one enthralled Latin America.
Since early last century due to immigration waves in the region there is a strong
presence of Eastern culture (Chinese and Japanese mostly), which endures to this day

and has been enhanced thanks to globalization. You don’t need to be physically
present, colonization is now virtual.
In the past 20 years, Peru has witnessed the great impact of the Asian Pop Culture and
how unexpectedly achieved a huge popularity through cultural products such as anime
(Japanese animation), and in the last decade Kpop (South Korean pop music).
Amid all the chaos generated by the excitement of the fans of either product is
Cultural Diplomacy in Japan and Korea, they found powerful allies who had already
paved the way for a smoother intercultural communication between East and West.
Amid all the chaos generated by the excitement of the fans of either anime or Kpop,
are Japanese and Korean Cultural Diplomacies. They now have powerful allies which
had already paved the way for a smoother intercultural communication between East
and West.
Although Japan and Korea had several trade agreements there was some difficulty for
them to expand culturally due to the big differences between their own cultures and
the rest of the world’s. The east was always exotic to the west.
Today, Cultural Diplomacy has left Popular Culture aside and even more its
contemporary manifestations, wasting its potential as a tool for the dissemination of
culture itself and as a bridge for intercultural communication, especially Peru and its
vast cultural legacy. How could we take advantage of that potential?
Through culture and intercultural dialogue we can reconfigure State policies
concerning not only International Relations but also the citizens’ identity. Pop Culture
was not usually taken into account by the governments of Japan and Korea, but its
strength in international markets and the impact of these manifestations, has led them
to reconfigure its foreign policy to include them. Could Peru do the same?
The influence of Korean and Japanese Pop Culture in Peru is reconfiguring our own
national Popular Culture: it changes tastes, preferences, aesthetic references,
consumption patterns; but more importantly, it changes our perception of these
countries and their culture.
If both products were able to change State policies in their respective countries and
then influence their relations with the rest of the world, we can say that they could
also reshape the identities of both individuals as well as the collective identity of the
international community.
From this point of view, not only Pop Culture should be included in the diplomatic
cultural strategy of the countries, it is a necessity to structure International Relations
based on cultural reality. That way they can use cultural products such as anime and
Kpop to strengthen ties among peoples having as aim achieving development and an
atmosphere of peace, understanding and mutual cooperation.

It is critical to investigate the value and potential of Pop Culture as a tool for Cultural
Diplomacy. Therefore, in this book we’ll review the cases of Japan and Korea, the
evolution and impact of anime and Kpop, and the impact they have had in Peru and
how our country can benefit and learn from it. To take a holistic view, we’ll
contextualize this phenomenon in the context of theories of International Relations,
allowing us to project ourselves into the future of diplomacy and cultural policies.

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

CAP I
Pop Culture: What is it, where does it come from and
where is it going?
1. POPULAR CULTURE: A World of possibilities
The term Popular Culture has always raised many arguments due to the ambiguity of its
meaning. Even in the XXI century we have not yet been able to establish a single definition
for the term. But if we want to understand the phenomenon of Pop Culture in all its
magnitude we need to establish at least a general idea of what it represents.
In fact, there are several definitions for Popular Culture and is the variety of definitions the
source of the problem since how could we establish which one is right and which one is
not? But if there is one thing that we can be sure of is that “Popular culture Is lake
pornography, - in, oh, so many ways: we may not be able to define it, bet we know when
it when we see it”. (Parker, 2011)
The problem of the definition of Popular Culture is not new since it has been discussed for
several centuries. In fact, since the late eighteenth and during the nineteenth century
some intellectuals established the Popular Culture as a "quasi-mythical rural folk culture."
(Storey, 2009) During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the popular would be
considered as Mass Culture, as the opposite to High Culture, and as Global Culture,
among others, depending on the theoretical view from which the subject is approached.
In his book Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (1985), Welsh academic
Raymond Williams has four different meanings for Popular Culture, "something that
appeals to many people, an inferior type of work, a work that deliberately tries to gain the
favor of the people and a culture made by people for themselves.” In turn, the sociologist
John Storey (2002) adds to these definitions a fifth and sixth ones, which bind the Popular
Culture with the concepts of hegemony and postmodernism respectively.
Following the first Williams’s definition, we could understand Popular Culture as the
culture that everyone (or many) loves, provided they are the majority. This
conceptualization may seem enough at first glance but leads to a new problem since there
are so many things that could appeal to a large audience that the definition becomes too
broad and vague. It would be necessary to create a ranking system that allows us to
establish how many supporters something requires to be considered popular. That's not
practical.

1

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

In fact, the difference between Popular Culture and Mass Culture is often so tenuous that
are often confused: "what is popular is related to massiveness or massive crowds. What’s
massive is not opposed to popular culture, nor is an ‘absorber’ of it, but the place in which
what’s popular is interpellated." (Lobeto, 2009) As such, the massiveness should be
understood not as an obstacle but as a platform for the dissemination and interpretation
of what’s popular.
However, the escalation of Popular Culture to Mass Culture level involves certain risks. The
largest of them, confusing the concepts, leads to what is legitimately popular to be moved
against the mass product, created by an industry that is due solely to market trends, "the
great cultural industry, and therefore its consumer products, are something supposedly
'popular', against other creative endeavors spontaneously produced outside the industry,
which supposedly would be seen as 'elitist' or, worse, as the 'real' consumer products
conceived under strategies of 'commercial positioning.' "(Pérez, 2010)
For Storey, by defining first High Culture we could afford to make a distinction, defining
Popular Culture as everything that’s left after deciding what is High Culture. But, as he
says, the differentiation between the two of them is not clear enough. For several authors,
the main difference between them is also a difference between social classes: High
Culture is linked to the gentry, while Popular Culture is related to the lower class and
therefore is inferior. However, this difference crumbles in the light of reality since in social
life’s development there is a constant exchange between the two types of culture and
what could be considered a work of High Culture can become popular and no longer
exclusive, since social classes are not static.
Popular Culture is also defined as Mass Culture by several authors due to their close
relationship with mass media, making it into "inevitably commercial" and is consumed
with an "alienated and alienating passivity". (Storey, 2002) Still, there are plenty of cases
where despite lots of publicity many cultural products that fit the description of massive
fail.
Williams also discusses a fourth definition where Popular Culture is the one that comes
from the people: "When used in this way, the 'Popular Culture' functions as a rough
equivalent of the fourteenth century concept of folk culture." (Bennett, 1986) The
problem, as with other definitions, is the difficulty for establishing who are the people and
what features they must have to be considered as such; as well as the commercial aspect
that inevitably surrounds Popular Culture.
A fifth definition given by Storey, gathers the ideas of political analyst Antonio Gramsci on
hegemony 1, where Popular Culture is "a site of struggle between the 'resistance' of

1

For Gramsci, the ruling classes manage to impose on the dominated, not by the use of repressive state
apparatus, but by the cultural hegemony supported in education, religion and mass media.

2

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

subordinate groups in society and the forces of 'incorporation' that operate in the
interests of dominant groups." (2002)
For sociology, says sociologist Ashley Crossman (2011), there are two opposed positions
on Popular Culture related to gramscian definition of Storey: On one hand, a first
approach considers the Popular Culture as a tool of the elites (who tend to keep control
on mass media) to keep under control the masses, "making them passive and easy to
control." The second approach considers that far from being a weapon of domination,
Popular Culture is a "vehicle for rebellion against the culture of the dominant groups."
Moreover, the academic John Fiske argues that Popular Culture "is what people do from
the products of the culture industries: mass culture is the repertoire, popular culture is
what people make in an active form, what really make the consumer goods and
consumables consuming practices." (Fiske quoted by Storey, 2002)
The sixth definition of Popular Culture refers to the postmodern conception of the term.
The difference between High Culture and that one disappears, because as Storey states
"for some is a reason to celebrate the end of an arbitrary distinctions built on cultural
elitism; for others, it is a reason to despair for the final victory of trade over culture."
(2002) The dichotomy is now composed of what’s authentic (understood as culture) and
what’s commercial.
Amidst all these definitions the unusual statement of the sociologist Tony Bennett in his
book Popular Culture: a Teaching Object (1980) falls upon us like a bucket of cold water:
"The concept of popular culture is virtually useless, a pot of confused and contradictory
meanings able to divert the investigation to an unknown number of dead ends." Although
it sounds crazy Bennett is not wrong, since in two centuries of social sciences we have not
been able to reach an agreement on this concept.
But even if it seems impossible to define Popular Culture, we might say that it has all the
features mentioned above giving us an idea of what we mean when using the term. Since
this is usually as relative as everything about the human being, the fact of defining and
diagramming it with certainty seems very complex but no less important.
Although we have not yet been able to establish a precise definition, what we know so far
about the nature of Popular Culture is enough to get us into its current size, i.e., the
Contemporary Popular Culture, known as Pop Culture.
2. POP CULTURE: What is it and where is it going?
If we talk about Pop Culture perhaps the first thing that will come to mind is that famous
Marilyn Monroe painting Andy Warhol made back in the 60's or Madonna in a wedding

3

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

dress performing Like a Virgin at the MTV Awards in 1983. In fact, selfies, twerking, and
virtually everything in mass media and becomes part of our daily life could be seen as Pop
Culture.
The Oxford Dictionary defines Pop Culture as a "culture based on the popular taste instead
of an educated elite culture, usually marketed and widely disseminated by the mass
media." Furthermore, the website Oxforddictionaries.com, developed by the University of
Oxford, defines the term as "modern popular culture transmitted via mass media and
aimed particularly at younger people."
We can say that Pop Culture as we understand it now includes music, movies, TV shows,
fashion, brands, practices and customs, urban tribes; in short, everything that somehow
belongs to the youth culture worldwide. If we build on these ideas we have to consider
some features of Pop Culture to understand how it works and what its role in society is
today.
One of the most distinctive features of this type of culture is its commercial aspect. Being
a cultural product produced in most cases by the so-called cultural industries (Hollywood,
for example) cultural events acquire the character of merchandise that reflects both the
needs of the market (the consuming public); as the individual interests of producers.
In fact, the commercial aspect that defines what is considered Pop has become a stigma
that discredits products on that category to be viewed as superfluous, empty, plastic, and
prefabricated; that is, something done simply and solely to sell. This bias tends to detract
from the artistic and cultural events that by their popularity or the models used are seen
as Pop products.
Although the fact that a piece of work being commercial is a mortal sin for some, the
multi-award winning Spanish cartoonist Carlos Gimenez, author of Los Profesionales and
Paracuellos, considers the term commercial is not at all derogatory since the aim of every
artist should be to turn his work into a commercial and quality success. Giménez considers
that the work, being the way the artist makes a living should be thought of as a product
that can be sold without sacrificing the quality of it, even if this can be a huge challenge
since these characteristics are often opposed to one another.
Another important feature is the target audience. We know that Pop Culture has a
massive scope and is generally aimed to the younger segment of the population, but not
necessarily limited thereto. Why young people? It only takes a look at the trends that
marked the last decades to understand the reason for this statement: in the early 90's the
youth from Seattle (Washington) were the ones who created the Grunge fashion linked to
the musical style of the same name would that ended up defining a generation in the U.S.;
It was the youth who packed Woodstock the autumn of 1969, which marked a milestone
in the history of music and humanity with its demonstration of free love; it’s the youth

4

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

who have turned the Guy Fawkes mask into a symbol of freedom of speech in times of
internet through the collective Annonymous.
A third feature, perhaps the most important, is the close relationship between Pop Culture
and mass media. Anything that is considered Pop must be consumed by a massive
audience that can only be reached through the mass media. Depending on the historical
moment in which we are located, each existing media so far played the role of main
source of cultural content. There is no doubt that nowadays this role is on the internet.
With that in mind we can now dive into the cultural reality of the world today, a world in
which culture, like communication is no longer limited by geographical boundaries or
language barriers, where we take a look at the best each corner of the globe has to offer,
and watch, in real time, how those cultures transform our own.
3. POP CULTURE IN ASIA
What is Asia to the West? Let's do a practical exercise. In the next 30 seconds take note of
everything that comes to your mind when thinking about Asia. When you finished
reviewing the notes you’ll know what your perception of that continent is and all
countries in it. There’s no wrong answers in this exercise because this perception is a
result of our experience and learning, as well as the ideas of the society in which we
develop and the discourse of the media on the subject.
It’s possible we share the same ideas about Asia: technology, tradition, bizarre humor,
weird food ... But as the saying goes, truth is stranger than fiction. Asia is all of that and
more.
Among all of that culture and historical richness there are two particular countries in
which we will focus. The reason? They are those who have better used their culture to sell
their image around the world. We refer to the Republic of Korea, known as South Korea
(hereafter Korea) and Japan.
3.1. JAPANESE POP CULTURE: The magical world of Anime
Unlike many contemporary cultures of the modern world, the Japanese Pop Culture is one
of the few that has been able to best incorporate modernity, to the point of achieving the
forefront in many fields, without losing its essence and traditions: "One of the most
interesting aspects of Japanese society and culture today is the whole area of popular
culture. That really means youth culture. Thus, young people are in the center of some of
the lively developments in Japan today. "(Hardacre, 2002)

5

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

Japanese Pop Culture, heavily influenced by Western culture (especially the American) has
several ways of manifesting itself: movies, music, manga 2, television, fashion and of
course the anime 3. Perhaps these, anime and manga are the most influential when it
comes to Pop Culture, not only in Japan but also in the image the world has of that
country. Thus, these cultural products are strongly associated with the idea we have in
western civilization about Japan and the Japanese way of live.
Although there is no doubt of the impact of Japanese Pop Culture in the world nowadays,
this phenomenon is relatively recent since its popularity triggered from the early 90's, the
same decade when internet started to become massive. This was decisive: "Japanese
popular culture not only has continued to evolve and flourish at home, but has also
attracted a large number of stray followers abroad, giving Japan a new cultural impact on
the world that complements its already established economic impact ". (Craig, 2000)
Even if the Japanese economy declined due to the economic crisis experienced late last
century, the entertainment industry, strongly linked to Pop Culture and perhaps its main
supporter, has managed to not only stay afloat but far exceed expectations. For example,
in 2012 Japan became the largest music market in the world, leaving the U.S. relegated to
second place. This is due largely to Japanese pop music and pop bands 4. This great
achievement is no accident but the result of a process that took several decades.
We could say that the genesis of Japanese Pop Culture as we know it came after World
War II, when Japan began the process of rebuilding and industrialization. It wasn’t until
the early 80's when manga and anime, mostly consumed locally, would achieve relevance
outside the archipelago until next decade’s explosion.
Although Japanese Pop Culture have had a strong Western influence, both anime and
manga have achieved a very characteristic authenticity that attracts millions around the
world and have even become raw material for other cultural events such as fashion and
cosplay 5. Even though manga is considered the basis of anime for marking the parameters
of style and aesthetic design to be followed by animation, this one is way more successful
on a global scale.
The first Japanese animations are from the early twentieth century, being Katsudō Shashin
(1907), of unknown authorship, the first animated short film (only lasts 4 seconds) done in
that country. During that time and even before World War II ended, several works as The
Monkey and the Crab (1917) of Seitaro Kitayama, were made even in difficult
2

Manga is the japanese comic.
Anime is the japanese animation.
4
According to the anual report from the International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI), in 2012
Japan sold over 4.280 million dollars in CDs, DVDs and digital downloads, while USA only got to 4.130 million
dollars.
5
Cosplay is the short for Costume Play, is a hobby in which participants wear costumes and fashion
accessories to represent a specific character or idea that is usually identified with a unique name.
3

6

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

circumstances due to the pressures exerted on animation companies by the government
leaders: "During the Japanese fascist stage prior to world War II, the entertainers were
heavily censored and often restricted to only produce propaganda or simply were not
allowed to work." (Poitras, 2001)
Still some great animation works got made, like Momotarō: Umi no Shinpei (Momotaro:
God of waves) from 1944, the first animated feature film which included voices and sound
but propagandistic content that made clear reference to the attack on Pearl Harbor and
Japanese air and sea military campaigns. After the war and the economy’s collapse, the
anime production decreased to near extinction and manga gained popularity since was
cheaper and easier to get.
Throughout this stage, the anime had a very similar to Disney productions. This changed
when artists like the late cartoonist and animator Osamu Tezuka, known as the god of
manga, managed to develop a unique style. Forced largely by low budgets, they managed
to make their own productions. Tezuka would create great classics of the genre as the
popular Astro Boy and The Princess Knight in early 50's. His work is probably the main
reference of anime as is now known: "Once Tezuka started doing animation and
established the qualities that have stated their success - long story lines, cinematic
storytelling - Japanese demand for more animation never waned." (Brenner, 2007)
But it was not until the early 70's that after a severe economic crisis, the animation
industry arise with the emergence of new production houses that expanded the thematic
coverage of anime and animation styles, making a big difference with Western animation:
"Japanese animation is among the best in the world, more sophisticated." (Hardacre and
Bestor, 2002)
During the 80's, the anime began to be exported to the West but remained within the
underground scenes of America and Europe. However, its popularity increased with the
release of some of the most popular anime series of all time like Candy Candy, Marco or
Robotech. Interestingly, many of these series were not identified as Japanese in the West
and the widespread belief was that these were made for young audiences since they were
cartoons.
At the end of that decade and during the 90's, the greatest works of Japanese animation
like Dragon Ball Z, Saint Seiya or Pokémon became popular around the world. But were
films like Akira or Ghost in the Shell, and series like Neon Genesis Evangelion or Cowboy
Bebop which radically changed the perception of the gender. Not only was the original
visual and aesthetic proposal but also the wide range of issues that could be addressed
within an anime that captivated hundreds of fans in the West. Like manga, anime could
include topics for both children and adults.

7

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

In the last decade, Internet has allowed the mass exponential growth of the anime
industry. Unlike in the past century, fans of the genre known as otaku 6, don’t depend on
local television transmitting their favorite shows or any company obtaining the
distribution licenses for the production of DVDs. Internet allows anyone to access almost
immediately to their favorite series, although it is true that piracy has damaged the
industry in a very severe way.
In the diffusion process of anime, fans play a fundamental role. For the most purists of the
genre or those unwilling to wait for a dubbed version of their favorite series to be
published, there is the fansub, consisting of anime series subtitled by fans and for fans.
Currently there are several anime broadcast networks through internet that receive
thousands of hits a day and have large catalogs available for free, as we’ll discussed later
on.
Whether through major events and conventions or its uptake and dissemination through
internet; anime has managed to bring thousands of foreign fans on everything related to
it, like manga or cosplay, and also what lies behind it, like Japanese Pop Culture and even
language.
3.1.1. JAPANESE POP CULTURE IN PERU: Anime and the Otaku Community
In Peru, anime had an unexpected success since its arrival to local television at the end of
the 60's with classics like Tezuka’s Astro Boy or The Man of Steel. Even if initially those
series weren’t identified as anime by the general audience, but simply as animated series.
The genre continued to gain popularity little by little throughout the 70's until the release
of Marco in 1979. The story of the little Italian boy crossing the Atlantic in search of his
mother captivated the audience achieving high ratings and becoming an instant classic. So
would Heidi and Candy.
Over the next decade the country was facing a tough political crisis and the violence of a
civil war. The animated series were a good way for children and teenagers at the time to
escape reality. In those days, animes whose protagonists were giant robots like Robotech
El Vengador and Mazinger Z stood out. Yet, these series which enjoyed so much success
among young audiences were still not recognized as Japanese products, "It is interesting
to note that in this decade Kung Fu movies became also popular. Due to the similarity of
Chinese kanji with the kanji of Japanese Animes the Peruvian audience considered that
both productions came from China." (MRTE, 2012)

6

The term Otaku is used in Japan to describe a person obsessed with a particular hobby. In the west the
term is used to identify the fans of Japanese Pop Culture which includes anime, manga and cosplay.

8

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

During the 90's, the situation of anime in Peru changed dramatically. The Fandom was still
growing slowly but that would all take a whole new dimension with the release of several
titles that would achieve a great success here and in the rest of the world. The first of
these, Captain Tsubasa o Los Supercampeones, as it was known in Latin America. This
anime about the adventures of a kid Oliver Atom on its way to become the best soccer
player in the world was a delight for thousands of kids who, like Oliver, loved the sport.
Later on, would make their debut in Peruvian television series like Los Caballeros del
Zodiaco (Saint Seiya), with a slightly more complex argument involving many aspects of
Greek mythology and heavy action scenes way stronger than what was expected to see in
an animated series. Its success was such that, with several years of delay, a film was
premiered in some movie theaters in Lima. In fact, that was the first time in a movie
theater for the author of this book.
But nothing described above would achieve what Dragon Ball did at the time. This anime
was released back in 1996 with an unprecedented success. Yet, it wasn’t until the release
of its sequel Dragon Ball Z that the fever would break.
The series that mixed adventure, fantasy and action, was initially aired during the
afternoons. As it achieved its peak of popularity was moved to the mornings. Although it
may sound like an irrelevant fact, this speaks volumes about the impact it had on that
generation. In those days, when the bell rang for recess, for those who had the misfortune
to study in the mornings, it was a matter of life and death to go as soon as possible to the
nearest TV, if there was any around, to see even just a few minutes of that day’s episode.
All in all, Dragon Ball Z reached rating levels far unsurpassed by any other animated series
to this day. And this largely explains the expectation that unleashed the announcement of
a new film based on that title in early 2013. Anything with the characters of the series on
the cover sold like hotcakes and gradually all that was behind the phenomenon would
discovered.
Other titles like Sailor Moon, Samurai X or Las Guerreras Mágicas (Magic Night Rayearth)
helped cement the genre's popularity throughout the country: now fans knew those were
animated series from Japan and were unlike any other. Their audience would include
people of all ages and the expectation each new episode of those generated was enough
to paralyze all the classrooms throughout Peru.
In those days, in April 1997, Sugoi magazine was release, the first publication in Peru
dedicated entirely to manga and anime. It was the Antezana brothers, the magazine
editors, who organized the first meetings for fans where the most recent episodes of
anime that were not released in local television were screened. These meetings would be
followed by the first theme parties and even a briefly aired television show, TV Sugoi.
When television fell short with new anime series, Locomotion Channel made its
appearance through cable, the first in Latin America to air anime in its dubbed version for

9

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

an adult audience. This would be the gateway for that generation to series with more
diverse and developed content.
In the early years of the new millennium, Peruvian otaku found an inexhaustible source of
new material through internet and piracy. Online forums, as we shall see later on, played
a determining role by allowing the creation of communication and distribution channels
so effective that lead to the development of a system of piracy and publication of new
material in record time and a global reach.
In the last decade, the fandom achieved great notoriety in the mainstream media and, of
course, the Internet community. What once were small parties now became large annual
conventions as OtakuFest that at each date draws thousands of people and demonstrates
that far from being an underground phenomenon, the otaku community is a market to be
considered.
Now cosplayers make appearances in magazines and major newspapers wearing their
costumes. The voice actors who participated in anime series are greeted like celebrities
every time they visit the country and their voices are easily recognized by any fan.
Although in the last two years, interest in anime conventions has declined due to the
growing popularity of other trends such as Korean pop, the premiere of the new movie
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods created such expectation that before its release it had
already become a box office hit and by November 2013 it already had raised over $1
million just in Peru.
For over two decades, Japan was the epicenter of Pop Culture in Asia. However, during the
last five years, its importance has been eclipsed by other cultural power in the region that
has managed to conquer even the Japanese archipelago through music.
3.2. KOREAN POP CULTURE: Kpop, the soundtrack of globalization
Until late last century Korea was not a power like Japan neither had the vast territory that
China did. To boost their economy, their best alternative was abroad: "Without such a
large internal force, it has focused almost entirely on the exterior, nurturing a culture that
inherently seeks the global stage." (Arnold, 2012)
The political and economic openness of Korea allowed access to the markets of the region
which enabled the rapid development of their industries. In return, for nothing comes for
free, they took the risk of allowing the market entry of imported goods. But for the
peninsular country risk was not only economic but also cultural: "(…) as South Korea’s
domestic market continued to gain significance, there was a fear that imported goods
were a 'infiltration' of South Korean economic and cultural space." (Leung, 2012)

10

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

Although economic liberalization allowed the increase in cultural and entertainment
production, imports quickly swept the domestic market. This required a quick response
from the Korean government. In 1994, the Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and
Technology presented a revealing report on the entertainment industry that would be the
seed of today’s Korean boom.
The report compared the profits of Steven Spielberg's film “Jurassic Park" and overseas
sales of 1.5 million cars manufactured by Hyundai, South Korea’s flagship brand. It was
clear that the entertainment industry was not only more profitable than the automotive
industry but also could benefit the country's image abroad. That same year the
government created the Office of Cultural Industry inside the Ministry of Culture and
Sports to promote the development of the sector. The rest is history.
Looking at what Korean Pop Culture is today, we could say music and soap operas are the
most important its references. In fact, Korean soap operas worked initially as a vehicle for
pop music, often included as the soundtrack for these series.
The success of some dramas 7 have been such that the image of Korea was catapulted to
new levels, as in the case of Winter Sonata (2002), the soap opera that turned the world
around and raised over $ 2.7 billion for both the writers of the series and the country
itself 8. At that time, Korea was still recovering from the disastrous economic crisis of 1997
and soap operas helped to overcome the consequences of it. Interestingly, Sonata de
Invierno, as it was known in Latin America, had no great relevance in its country of origin
until its Japanese release in 2003.
The drama became a boom in the island nation. Even the then Prime Minister Junichiro
Koizumi said that Bae Yong-joon, who starred in the series, was more popular than him in
Japan. Dramas like Winter Sonata opened the door to Korean productions and artists to
the Japanese market, the biggest of the region.
In the last 10 years, pop music has become the main broadcaster of Korean culture in the
world, conquering the Asian markets, especially the Japanese one. This is interesting since
the pop music produced in Korea is based on the Japanese model.
In the early 90's it was clear that popular culture would make a qualitative leap that would
turn it into an industry, and that opportunity would come at the hands of what the critic
and composer Yi Konyong describe as "a national music that overcomes foreign influence,
pursues our desire for unification, and is relevant to daily life (...) We will, then, overcome
conservatism and exclusivity, pursuing musical democracy by bringing together and
7

The term Dramas is used to describe Asian soap operas.
ARNOLD, Wayne. Beyond ‘Gangnam Style’: Why Korea Is a Pop Culture and Products Powerhouse: “Korean
drama "Winter Sonata" has generated revenues of more than $2.7 billion for its writers and the Korean
economy. To provide some context, the Harry Potter franchise is estimated to be worth $15 billion.”

8

11

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

unifying all musics ... as our national music." (Konyong cited by Howard, 2002) This
national music that Konyong was referring is known now as Kpop 9.
In 1992 the release of the first single from the band Seo Taiji & Boys, “Nan Arayo (I
know)”, revolutionized the music market in Korea. With a unique mix of hip hop and
techno, it opened the minds and ears of an audience hungry for something new andtheir
own. Although the success of Seo Taiji was resounding, Kpop was still far from the industry
that it is today. That leap would come thanks to Lee Soo Man, the founder of SM
Entertainment, one of the biggest music companies in Korea.
Building on the success that Japanese groups had in Korea at the time, Lee surveyed a
group of teenagers to learn their preferences and what they expected from a Korean
music idol. After a thorough recruitment process and taking into account the results of the
market research, in 1996 SM Entertainment introduced H.O.T., the first Kpop boyband.
Success would be immediate. The boy and girl bands would become the most widely used
format for music companies.
That’s how the Korean wave that invaded Asia for the rest of the decade began. As
explains the member of the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), Haksoon Yim (2002),
“the scope of cultural policy for constructing cultural identity has expanded from cultural
heritage and traditional arts during the 1970s to contemporary arts and the cultural life of
people during the 1980s to amateur arts and popular culture and cultural industries
during the 1990s.”
After a decline in the popularity of the genre in the early new millennium, a second
Korean wave, in the mid-2000, would finally reconquer the Asian market and even, as if by
accident, enter the western market. Supported on new technologies, groups like BigBang,
Super Junior, DBSK or SS501 achieved great popularity not only in Korea but also Latin
America: "While most countries have been decreasing their spending on infrastructure
and the arts, the Korean government was the first nation to invest in high-speed
broadband after the 1997 financial crisis, creating a multimedia-obsessed nation.”
(Arnold, 2012)
In 2012, Kpop achieved an unprecedented global reach thanks to the hit single Gangnam
Style by PSY. After his video became the most watched in the history of the web portal
Youtube.com, both the artist and the entire Korean music scene were placed on the
spotlight. However, this success would not be considered a fluke. For the journalist Wayne
Arnold, "Park Jae-sang, or Psy to his friends, and "Gangnam Style" is not an accident, but
the result of decades of careful planning, investment and a certain amount of
geographical bad luck.” (2012)

9

The term Kpop comes from Korean and Pop and it is used to describe contemporary Korean pop music.

12

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

Indeed, the success of Kpop was not circumstantial, but a snowball that included both the
effort of private sector and the Korean government, as the evolution of online media and
a strong trend of Internet users around the globe to consume comedy videos.
Although Kpop as a musical genre is considered by many as a fad, the fact that it got to put
Korea on the map is undeniable. What many promotional campaigns have failed to
achieve for many countries, Kpop has.
3.2.1. KOREAN POP CULTURE IN PERU: The biggest fandom in Latin America.
Unlike anime, in Peru Kpop was mostly ignored by the media. Ten years ago it was
unthinkable that a local radio station would play a Kpop song. The genre was definitely not
then what it is today.
Arguably, the first approximation of the Peruvian public to Korean popular culture
occurred, as in Asia, through dramas. Some of these series were broadcast via television
networks, as happened with the popular Stairway to Heaven (Cheonguk-eui Gyeodan)
aired in 2006, or Winter Sonata. However, most of it was consumed through Internet or
the informal market, as it is with anime.
By including Kpop songs as opening and ending themes, usually ballads, or featuring by
Kpop idols, dramas became the Trojan horse of Korean pop. The poignant melodies were
conquering the public, arousing their interest in Korean music despite the fact of not
understanding what those songs were talking about, fans could easily relate to the plight
of the protagonists in the story, creating an emotional bond with them.
As with anime, fansubs played a major role on the dissemination of dramas in Latin
America. Even though Korean dramas managed to catch the attention of the Latin
audience, the traditional providers of such programs in the region are Mexico and Brazil.
Although there was a section of viewers that accepted the dramas, to introduce them
aggressively on television represented a huge risk since the consumption patterns had
been already configured for decades and change would had required several years and
heavy investment that TV stations were just not willing to take.
The same would happen with music. Both video clips of the hottest artists and variety
shows in which they appeared, were subtitled by fans and then distributed through
Internet, increasing the material available for avid consumers. This is an important detail
because, as we shall see, although Latin America has become an important market for
Korean record companies, so far the DVDs officially released by these artists do not
contain Spanish subtitles.

13

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

Throughout this process, there is an interesting parallel between anime and Kpop since
most of the current Kpop fans go to know it because of anime. When Korean artists
achieved success in Japan, some animation houses chose groups like DBSK to sing the
main themes for series like One Piece.
The rapid spread of both dramas and Korean pop music led to the formation of a fan
community that began timidly in 2004 with Villa Kpop, an online group managed by Aldo
Peralta and Sonia Tovar, founders of Kasoo, the first Kpop store in Peru. This small group
would allow fans to share information about their favorite artists and subsequently lead
to the creation the first fan clubs.
With the popularization of Internet in the following years and the arrival of Youtube, Kpop
became much more accessible for Peruvian fans. Many Kpop fans now came to it by
chance. Most of them got to it because a friend told them about it or someone hand them
a link.
The Korean pop lover audience was growing strongly but received little or no attention
from the media despite the activities and collective achievements of the fan clubs. But at
the end of the first decade of the new millennium all suddenly changed: "By 2010, the
fever had begun. In February 2012, with the arrival of the first band, JYJ, it was clear that
there was an audience eager to see the stars of K-pop live." (La República, 2012)
In August 2011, the humanitarian visit of two of the members of the group MBLAQ caused
such a sensation among Peruvian fans that Korea laid its eyes on Peru. But it would be JYJ,
a group on litigation with its former record label, who would take the first step by visiting
our country in March next year. The event managed to beat sales records, which caught
the attention of even the Korean press. Peru would become the capital of Kpop in Latin
American.
That same year the arrival of BigBang, the Korean band of the moment, was announced.
That event would be the litmus test for productions companies to determine whether
Kpop was really profitable or not since 2012 was very inauspicious for these companies.
The Korean group was one of the most successful proposals that year, surpassing in the
box-office the much-hyped show Lady Gaga held days later. This was very significant
because, unlike American star, BigBang songs were never played on local radio stations.
Kpop had established itself not only in the Peruvian music scene, but also in the cultural,
without any presence in media or being advertised by the Korean government or record
companies. All thanks to the work of fans who accomplished what an entire industry
couldn’t.

14

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

CAP II
Cultural Diplomacy, Nation Branding
and Foreign Affairs

1. CULTURAL DIPLOMACY
The term Cultural Diplomacy, coined by political scientist Milton Cummings, is relatively
new to the world of foreign policy since it began to be used in the mid-1900s, although
this activity has been developed for several hundreds of years.
Considered one aspect of the discipline of International Relations (IR), its political and
historical significance has been established as “a vibrant and innovative academic field of
research and has successfully established itself as a stand-alone theory and practice." (ICD,
2013)
But what is Cultural Diplomacy? If we consider that Diplomacy is the management of
international relations of a country through the art of negotiation, we can define this
activity as does Michael J. Waller, professor at the Institute of World Politics, "the
exchange of ideas, information, art and other aspects of culture among nations and their
peoples in order to foster mutual understanding." (2008)
Also known as soft power, Cultural Diplomacy picks up the cultural resources of a country
and it uses them to disseminate the multiple ways of expression from people it
represents, establishing channels for cultural dialogue with other peoples: "Art and
culture are in the forefront of many countries’ promotional efforts. These countries
recognize that showing their cultural heritage provides them with an opportunity of
showing who they are, creating a positive image, thus helping to achieve their political
aims." (Ryniejska, 2008)
For International Relations, Cultural Diplomacy aims to "strengthen relationships, improve
the socio-cultural cooperation, or promote national interests" (2013) explains Emil
Constantinescu, President of the Academy for Cultural Diplomacy. However, until recently,
this was not considered a discipline rather than as a part of Public Diplomacy. In fact, the
two concepts are often confused with each other. So we’ll try to clarify the difference
between them.
The term Public Diplomacy was coined in 1965 by the diplomat Edmund Gilleon, who
would later become part of the Edward R. Murrow Center of Public Diplomacy, where this
discipline Is defined as follows:

15

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

“(Public Diplomacy) deals with the influence of public attitudes on the formation
and execution of foreign policies… encompasses the dimensions of foreign
relations beyond traditional diplomacy, the cultivation by governments of public
opinion in other countries; the interaction of private groups and interests in one
country with those of another; the reporting of foreign affairs and its impact on
policy; communication between those whose job is communication, as between
diplomats and foreign correspondents; and the process of intercultural
communications.” (Murrow Center, 2001)
The Norwegian historian Erik Rudeng simplifies the concept of Public Diplomacy by
expressing it as the "set of actions with which a government addresses to the people of
another country", supported by the global reach of the traditional mass media and social
networks, today more than ever.
In fact, during the last century people used to believe that foreign policy only addressed
the economic, political or military (hard power) issues. With the Cold War between the
U.S. and the former Soviet Union, culture became a powerful ally in the broad area of
influence of both powers. In this context, mass media played a crucial role and hence their
relevance to today. As the Mexican diplomat and writer Alfonso Nieto says, "in XXI century
diplomacy is not only important to carry out the foreign policy actions, is equally relevant
issue appropriate messages that generate favorable news, especially to get the support of
society.” (2006)
So far the thin line that separates Cultural Diplomacy from Public Diplomacy seems to fade
as both are closely linked to the media and its effect on society. And we must not forget
for a moment that diplomacy types obey the guidelines and objectives of the foreign
policy of a country. That is, none can act independently and set goals that differ from the
development of the plan of International Relations, for example, Peru has for other
countries in the region or their major worldwide partners.
However, if we consider the three fundamental objectives for the exercise of Public
Diplomacy proposed by Juan Luis Manfredi, Professor at the University of Castilla-La
Mancha, we can talk more significant differences. To Manfredi, this type of diplomacy
must have as guidelines to reinforce the identity of language and culture in times of
globalization; to participate in the international economy flows and exert influence on
public opinion. (2013)
In other words, Public Diplomacy not only seeks to positively position a country in the
minds of international public opinion, but also to generate a current favorable opinion
about the measures to be taken with regard to its foreign policy. In that sense, countries
like the U.S. have had serious problems in recent years. Although the U.S. Public
Diplomacy strives to sell its image as from a country that loves freedom and has respect
for human rights, its continued participation in armed conflict, the recent scandals

16

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

generated as a result of Wikileaks, and the questionable practices of the National Security
Agency (NSA) finally demolished the image they had built.
Cultural Diplomacy moves in a similar but very different scope since it’s focused on the
dissemination of culture and promoting intercultural dialogue to improve relations
between the people of the international community. In simpler terms, by helping to
promote our culture we help the rest of the world to understand and value us better. It
also works in reverse. The cultural activities of the governments of countries like Korea
and Japan in our country positively influences the way we think about them. This cultural
exchange can also influence public opinion in the countries involved in the process but this
should be considered as an additional result to the one that’s expected, or should be,
which is to improve the relations between people.
And therein we can better distinguish Public Diplomacy from Cultural Diplomacy, in how
they are perceived. Public Diplomacy has a "traditional association with the government"
(ICD, 2008), its primary purpose is to influence foreign audiences to, through a positive
perception, improve trade relations, open new markets or increase the flow of foreign
investment, as in the case of Peru.
So much so that the advertising sense of this kind of diplomacy could be comparable to
the publicity of a bank or an insurance company. Their ultimate goal is to "persuade the
population of another (country) that their intentions are good, and their policies are
benign." (ICD, 2008)
On the other hand, Cultural Diplomacy, despite the many similarities you can save with
Public Diplomacy, "puts a sharper focus on the individual experience (...) seems to flourish
in environments where it is kept away from government interference." Indeed, the work
of this kind of diplomacy usually develops in areas such as education, art, culture and
entertainment, but is not limited to these fields. For example, student exchange programs
or art exhibitions, cultural, film or literary festivals, are considered as tools for Cultural
Diplomacy.
That is precisely the advantage of Cultural Diplomacy vs. Public Diplomacy. While the last
one sells the image of a country, the first one disseminates the culture it represents. It can
be said that "the Cultural Diplomacy works because it seems to be sincere." (ICD, 2008) In
fact, even if it has political interests behind it, Cultural Diplomacy can be very beneficial to
the general public since it educates them about other cultures, enabling a harmonious
coexistence among peoples. Although, this does not mean that is risk free.
For Cummings one of the main risks of Cultural Diplomacy is the fact that “(it) can be more
of a one-way street than a two-way exchange, as when one nation concentrates its efforts
on promoting the national language, explaining its policies and point of view, or ‘telling its
story to the rest of the world’”. (2008)

17

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

Indeed, the implementation of policies to disseminate the culture of a country is the work
plan for the government, unilaterally. It could also be the case of a bilateral agreement for
the promotion of culture, democratizing the process making it work back and forward.
However, the country with the greatest ability to implement its plan of Cultural Diplomacy
and with a bigger budget for that purpose is usually the one who takes the lead in the
competitive field of dissemination of culture for political purposes.
Nowadays, the governments’ current role regarding the Cultural Diplomacy is defined by
the U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, Cynthia P. Schneider, based on two key issues:
Listening to the needs and interests of the people over the cultural forms and contents
they wish to consume; and to absorb the cultural content to understand what people are
trying to say through it. We’ll go back on these ideas later and we’ll see what happens
when a country follows these principles.
1.1.

JAPANESE CULTURAL DIPLOMACY

If anything distinguishes the Cultural Diplomacy of Japan from other countries, besides the
effectiveness to recognize in its Pop Culture powerful working tools, is its evolutionary
process since, according to the former ambassador and president of the Japan
Foundation, Kazuo Ogoura, it has undergone five different stages to be revised.
The first stage comes after the devastating World War II. Japan embarked on the difficult
task of changing its image of a militaristic and colonizing country, for one of a peaceful and
democratic nation. Not an easy undertaking given the nature of their participation in the
conflict.
In this context, Japan manages to become part of the UNESCO in 1951, marking the way to
go to achieve its goal for the rest of the decade and during the early 60's. Its makeover
"was closely associated with the promotion of cultural activities, through which Japan
sought to establish a new national identity." (Ogoura, 2008) Many of the leaflets
distributed in those days included, for example, pictures of cherry blossoms and Mount
Fuji, snowy, serenity and tranquility reflecting, explains Ogoura.
We can speak of a second stage of Japanese Cultural Diplomacy from the 60's, after the
Tokyo Olympics in 1964, until the early 70's. Completed the historic mission of
reconstructing the economy and rejoining the international community, the new goal was
to show Japan as a country economically and technologically advanced.
In the process, the Japanese became aware of the importance of strengthening their
international relations through a "more positive" Cultural Diplomacy (Ogoura, 2008). For
this, the Japanese government launched various cultural exchange policies, including the
creation, in 1972, of the Japan Foundation, with which cultural exchange is instituted as

18

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

the 4th pillar of the country's diplomacy. The others are: politics, economics and economic
cooperation.
We can speak of a third stage in the 80's, when Japan launched the Japan Exchange and
Teaching Program (JET) to strengthen its relations with other countries. In those days, and
for decades, the Japanese economic influence in the region had grown steadily. However,
while Japanese goods invade the Asian markets, it was not so with their culture. To
change the image of "faceless Japan" as Ogoura explained, was necessary Japanese
Cultural Diplomacy redirected its efforts to help their people understand "the mind and
psychology of other Asian". (2008) For this, the ASEAN-Japan Centre was created,
dedicated to teach the Japanese people about the ways of thinking of their neighbors.
Since the mid-90's, with the boom of globalization, the fourth stage of the Japanese
Cultural Diplomacy began. The country focused its efforts on highlighting the strongest
aspects of their culture: "Japanese cultural diplomacy began to focus on the relationship
between the country's time-honored cultural tradition and its modern technology."
(Ogoura, 2008) For this reason, Japan had to redefine its cultural identity to make it more
accessible to the world and finally project itself as a pioneer of postmodern culture.
It is during this time that a large current worldwide interest in Japanese Popular Culture
and its manifestations, including manga, anime, fashion and food, is generated. As a
result, youth and teens across Asia showed a growing interest in the so-called Japanese
Way of Life, which actually was a mix between the cosmopolitan lifestyle of the West and
the Japanese traditions, turning the country into a bridge, a middle ground between East
and West.
With the onset of globalization in the world, other Asian countries such as China and
Korea began an economic rise that allowed them to develop their own policies for Cultural
Diplomacy. This affected the positioning of Japan, that was not the only cultural power in
the region and neither economical, since it was in the middle of a recession. The country
could no longer be sold as a role model culturally and economically speaking, representing
a shift in the management of its foreign policy.
The new millennium represented new challenges for Japan and a fifth stage for its Cultural
Diplomacy. The cultural exchange in the region through music or dramas grew. However,
it became more difficult to mobilize economic resources for cultural activities to be
developed in other countries, so immediate results were required for Cultural Diplomacy
efforts.
In this context, the Japanese approach would take a twist to add new elements. In 2006,
the then Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso delivered a historic speech that defined a new
form of diplomacy in his country: "I think we can safely say that any kind of cultural
diplomacy that fails to take advantage of pop culture does not deserve to be called
'cultural diplomacy'." (Aso, 2006)

19

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

For Aso, cultural industry that had managed to internationalize both manga and anime
was indirectly contributing to the effort of improving the image of Japan in the world and
promoting interest in the culture of their country. It also recognized that anime
production houses, manga publishers or television channels performed a task that could
not or would not be carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since this didn’t have the
capacity to do so.
For the new Japanese foreign affairs strategy was important to take advantage of the
communication skills of Pop Culture and the ease with which it could reach all audiences,
not only in Japan but also abroad. "All we have now is an era in which national diplomacy
is dramatically affected by the climate of opinion arising from the average person. And
that's exactly why we want pop culture, which is so effective in penetrating the general
public, to be our ally in diplomacy." (Aso, 2006)
The effort of Japanese Cultural Diplomacy, for Aso, should also aim to take advantage of
the surge of interest in the Japanese language all over the world due to the popularity of
both anime and Jpop 10.
Aso also laid the foundations for private-public cooperation. Companies related to the
cultural industry could help in creating strategies to improve Japan's image in the world,
while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for providing the legal framework.
Today, Japan's image in the world is strongly linked to its Pop Culture and that gives it a
unique character that distinguishes it from the rest of Asia. Although its image has been
overshadowed due to the success of Korean pop music and its rapid growth, it has
achieved to establish itself on the basis of elements such as animation or fashion,
generating great empathy in young people around the world.
However, to Michael J. Norris, a member of Australia-China Business Council, despite the
success of Japanese Pop Culture this is not reflected in the increase of soft power in Japan:
"If soft power is defined as attraction which co-opts another state into altering its
behavior in favor of the soft power disseminators, Japanese popular culture does not
generate soft power. Instead, Japanese cultural export generates an attraction to Japan’s
image as a disseminator of 'cool' not the Japanese state." (2010)
Despite this apparent dissociation between the popularity of Japanese Pop Culture and
the soft power Japan has acquired as a state, anime and other cultural events have
become established as spaces of intercultural communication that should be exploited
and on which we will talk in depth in the next chapter.

10

The term Jpop comes from Japenese and Pop and it is used to describe contemporary Japanese pop music.

20

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

1.2.

KOREAN CULTURAL DIPLOMACY

The case of Korea is very interesting: in the early 50's, after the Japanese invasion, Korea
was one of the world's poorest countries. By 2007 it was already in the ranking of the best
global economies. This accomplishment denotes an ability to overcome difficulties rarely
seen in the history of the world economy. Still, Korea’s image was, until then, far from
doing justice to its economy.
Until 10 years ago, the image that the rest of the world had of this country was strongly
linked to the war between the Republic of Korea and North Korea in 1950 or, more
recently and to a lesser extent, the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Many of its flagship brands, like
Samsung and LG, were taken as Japanese brands. While most developed countries in the
region such as China or Japan made major investments to improve its image in the world,
Korea, despite its great potential, was falling behind.
In 2008, the Anholt-GfK Roper Nations Brands Index ranking, which measures countries’
image worldwide, ranked Korea in position #33 out of the 50 countries evaluated, which
contrasted sharply with its economic reality (Korea was ranked # 15 in the ranking of the
largest economies in the world). To counter this, the then President Lee Myung-bak,
created the Presidential Council on Nation Branding, which included both members of the
government and the private sector. In future, the Korean Cultural Diplomacy would be
strongly linked to the Brand Korea.
For the director of the council, Euh Yoon-dae, "Korea’s national brand is seriously weak
and the country's image does not compare to its national power. This is one of the tasks
that the nation should address more urgently, as it strives to leap into the ranks of the
world’s most advanced countries." (Quoted by Kim, 2009) Indeed, Brand Korea was weak
and revitalize it would not be easy. By 2009, they had only managed to climb 2 spots in
the Anholt-GfK ranking (its initial goal was to climb to #18 in the first 4 years).
Finally, the Board took action in March that year to improve the image of their country by
putting in action a 10 points promotion plan: 1. Promote taekwondo as a national sport, 2.
Dispatch service volunteers abroad every year, 3. Adopt "Korean Wave”, 4. Introduce the
Global Korea Scholarship for foreign students, 5. Adopt a Campus Asia Program to recruit
talent from across the region, 6. Increase external aid, 7. Develop state-of-the-art
Technology, 8. Nurture the culture and tourism industries, 9 Treat foreigners and
multicultural families better, and 10. Help Koreans become “global citizens”.
At that time, many experts, including Simon Anholt, creator of that ranking; remained
skeptical about this move as too ambitious: "No country has ever moved by more than
one or two places in national brand index, and in any case this isn’t the proper way of
using the index." (Anholt quoted by Kim, 2009) Although sound farfetched, the impact of
those results triggered the interest of the Korean government to improve its image in the

21

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

world and for that they had a powerful ally who had spent years operating in the region:
The Korean Wave.
Although the Korean Wave is an effort most from the private sector, the government has
been able to support this initiative by joining it through, for example, support for artists
(for presentations in various countries of Asia), as well as production houses (to broadcast
Korean dramas in distant countries such as Peru in Latin America). All with the aim not
only to improve the country's image abroad but also to increase exports.
Being aware of the popularity Korean Pop Culture has achieved through music and
dramas, the Korean government has ordered a series of measures to boost other aspects
of Korean culture such as cuisine, expanding the cultural offer for export.
Certainly, the actions of both government and private sector have greatly increased public
interest abroad Korean culture in general. Although many skeptics believed, even today,
that Kpop only attracts public attention on the commercial aspect of contemporary
culture, the growing interest in other aspects of the culture of that country and language
proves them wrong. As with anime in Japan, Kpop became a gateway to Korean culture.
However, one of Korea’s main dilemmas around their Pop Culture and the benefits it has
generated is that, as some experts believe, Kpop is a fad that will eventually become
depleted in the coming years. Roh-Hwang Lee, former Korean Consul in Peru, believes that
"Kpop is limited" and Korean government is already taking measures to manage the
situation, "currently (in Korea), there are professionals investigating how to extend the
Kpop trend, that’s our country’s dilemma." (2013)
Not only that. As with Japan, one of the great challenges for Korean Cultural Diplomacy is
how to translate the popularity of Pop Culture into a soft power allows, for example, not
just "to confront strains and tensions between former enemies in Northeast Asia would
solve political reconciliation with North Korea since the inception of the Sunshine policy to
contain North Korea’s Cold War-style confrontation." (Cabalza, 2011)
Due to the acceptance of Korean Pop Culture in Asia through dramas and music, Korea
should seize the opportunity to gain greater political clout in the region, one that matches
their economic capacity and the image it has built in recent years.
2. NATION BRANDING
The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines brand as "a name, term, sign, symbol
or design, or combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one
seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers." And with
branding we refer to the construction process that brand, which means to give value to

22

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

the brand through the assets that are linked to it or symbols that identifies it (the
logotype, for example).
With this in mind, we can say that Nation Branding is nothing but the process of building,
promoting and redefining the image of a country within the international community. In
other words, is to improve the reputation of a country using marketing strategies based
on a number of elements such as culture, the level of exports, the number of tourists
visiting the country, etc.
As Dr. Ying Fan (2005), specialist in marketing and cultural management, says a country
cannot be regarded as a product or service in the strict sense of the word yet it includes "a
wide variety of factors and associations: places, natural resources, people, history, culture,
language, political and economic systems, social institutions, infrastructure, celebrities,
pictures." Although marketing is often used to promote products and services, its
techniques and principles are universal which means it’s applicable to anything from
ourselves (personal marketing) to scientific breakthroughs and, why not, a country.
However, we should not assume that what works for one product, in marketing terms, can
also work with a country. When a product does not receive the attention of the market
that was estimated before the launching, it can always be changed, re-launched, replaced
by another product or simply be taken off the market. Countries don’t seem to work that
way. If Peru’s image was affected by a severe case of systematic and flagrant violation of
human rights or an unusual wave of widespread violence we, as country, cannot restart it
as if we were dealing with a software malfunction. On the contrary, we would have to
invest heavily to improve our image as long as we had been able to solve those problems
first.
In fact, in the midst of globalization, there is a tough competition among countries to
attract investors, foreign companies or tourists, either to boost its economic development
or to position themselves as regional powers. In this regard, Nation Branding is but a
necessity of State to prevail over their competition and to achieve their objectives.
Although Nation Branding can be a relatively new concept (it was coined in 1996 by Simon
Anholt) it has existed as an activity for centuries as National Brand is simply the set of
perceptions that the rest of the world has on a country, the same that can change with its
historical development or the circumstances in which value judgment is issued,
"manipulating the images of one’s own country against those enemy countries has long
been used as a powerful weapon in the propaganda, from the evil Soviet Empire in the
Cold War to the recent labeling of three countries as the 'axis of evil'." (Fan, 2005) The
same applies to a product or a person.
Take the case of Peru: During the 80's, our country’s image was strongly linked to violence
and hyperinflation, in the 90's we were known because of the coup during Fujimori’s

23

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

regime, in 2008 there was talk of the Peruvian miracle during the crisis that shook the
strongest economies in the world.
If we were to describe a country from what we know about it, what would be the first
thing that would come to mind? Whatever our answer, that's the image we have of it.
That's Nation Branding or rather is the result of that process, although in this case is done
the other way around as we are the ones setting the value and meaning of a brand instead
of the government.
There are several successful examples of Nation Branding like Malaysia, Truly Asia,
(Malaysia) launched back in 1999 by the government of that country through the National
Tourism Organization (NTO) and has so far achieved several international awards. The
success of this campaign has been such that by 2020, the government has set as target
raising 168 billion ringgit (about 51 billion dollars) for the tourism sector.
We can find other interesting examples in campaigns like Incredible India (India), Visit
Korea (South Korea) or Destination Egypt (Egypt). And of course Marca Peru, supported by
the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, which has been very successful in terms of
social networks since its launching in 2011.
2.1.

MEASSURING NATION BRANDING: THE RANKINGS.

We know what Nation Branding is and why it is important. However, all the marketing
work done to boost a country’s image internationally would not really be effective if we
don’t know for sure if what we’re doing had the expected impact. These measurement
systems are known as rankings.
It was rankings like the Anholt-GfK Roper Nations Brands Index (NBI) that led Korea to
restructure its Cultural and Public Diplomacy policies. Although the results are based on
surveys that may have some measuring instrument limitations, such as the size of the
samples, those are the most popular and accepted in the international system.
The GfK consultant company, which along with Simon Anholt created the ranking
described above, considers six dimensions when measuring the extent of a country’s
brand. These are: Exports, Governance, Culture and Heritage, Population, Investment and
Immigration, and Tourism.
Each category is closely related with the image projected by a country. A high rate of
exports represents not only a high production level but also a growing preference in the
world for products and services from that country.

24

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

Governance is a key issue for investors and tourists always prefer a country with a
competent and efficient government, especially if the country is engage in global
relevance issues like fighting against poverty, peacekeeping and respecting human rights.
Countries with bellicose, intolerant or repressive governments, involved in internal or
external armed conflict, won’t get a good grade in this section.
When we talk about culture and heritage, in the case of Peru, we must consider both
cultural heritage and dozens of pre-Hispanic cultures developed in our territory; and our
contemporary culture, that includes arts, cinema, literature, and especially, the cuisine.
The cultural resources of a country can be a very important source of income, as a symbol
of international prestige. Machu Picchu is, most of times, the first thing that comes to
mind when a foreigner is asked about Peru.
The population has to be one of the most complex aspects of the ranking. Here we
consider the level of openness to tourists, i.e. how friendly, warm and responsive people
can be to foreign visitors. Not only that, but to be also receptive to brands and companies
from around the world. Netherlands, for example, is world renowned for its high level of
tolerance and freedoms enjoyed by its citizens.
In the area of tourism, the ranking evaluates the interest level that foreign audiences have
for visiting a country, as well as the tourist value of it based on the attractions it has to
offer. These attractions can be natural (The Iguazu Falls or The Bay of Ha-Long) or artificial
(The Eiffel Tower or The Great Wall of China). It could also consider traditional
celebrations like The Rio Carnival in Brazil or The Inti Raymi in Peru.
GfK also considers investment and migration flows in the country. That is, the ability of a
country to attract the largest number of immigrants who live, study, work and/or invest
and do business in it. This is directly related to the perception of the foreign public about
the quality of life and the possibilities of establishing a friendly business climate in
economic terms.
How important can be rankings like the NBI? Market studies like this are important for
two reasons. First, it allows the current government of a country to know about the
evolution of its positioning strategies. In 2012, a study from the Samsung Economic
Research Institute (SERI) revealed that Korea had managed to climb to #13 (in 2011 it
ranked #15) in Substance (concrete achievements) and scale from #19 to #17 in Image
(how it’s perceived). This ranking evaluates the categories of economy, science and
technology, infrastructure, policies and institutions, heritage, modern culture, and people
and celebrities. While USA maintained the ranking first position, Japan rose from position
#5 to #4 in Substance although it dropped from first to fourth in the category of Image.
Second, to maintain a good position in the rankings often translate into an increase in the
country's ability to attract tourists and foreign investment. How does this work? Here's an
example. Many of the films that are nominated for an Oscar every year are not typically

25

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

released in Peruvian theaters until after the awards ceremony. Distribution companies are
well aware that it is much more cost effective when they release a film that has already
won the coveted statuette for the public, aware that the tape quality is guaranteed,
attend movie theaters. So it is with the recognition that a country can receive either by
the efficiency level of its public services, its transparency level, its economic stability, etc.
Back in 2008, Peru was the only country in the region whose economy continued to grow
after the global economic crisis as many foreign companies decided to invest here. Not
only that. In recent years, a significant number of young Europeans are coming to Peru
looking for job opportunities given the harsh circumstances of the labor market in Europe.
A situation of this nature is surprising, considering that 20 years ago were young Peruvians
who sought to emigrate massively.
The rankings can be very useful tools to measure the progress of a country in economic
terms and positioning them in the international sphere. They can also become a political
instrument. We should not ignore the fact that, as polls during the election season, these
market studies are not definitive and much less when it comes to countries.
Due to the large number of actors involved in the construction of a country’s image it
makes it very difficult to have a clear projection for the next five or ten years based on its
current position in a ranking, whereas an international incident would be enough to throw
away the work done to strengthen our image and even more when the political factor
enters the equation.
3. INTERNACIONAL RELATIONS: A theoretical approach
Theories of International Relations refer to the study of International Relations from
different theoretical perspectives in order to establish frameworks for their development
and analysis. Although most of these approaches came from the discipline itself, some
others have been collected from other disciplines to be adapted to it.
Nowadays, there are several doctrines in the study of International Relations, including:
Realism and Liberalism. Even though not the only ones, they are the most popular.
According to the realist theory, International Relations are focused on the State, which is a
supreme entity, and on the national interests. The main objective of every state is the
security in a chaotic context where international actors, like humans, are selfish and
compete with each other to maintain privileged positions of power.
For Realism, the international system is anarchic. This is because there is no supranational
organization to put in order and regulate the activities of states. We should note that the

26

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

approaches of the Realist theory emerged during the 1930s, when the League of Nations
(precursor of the United Nations) had failed to prevent World War II.
From this point of view, organizations like the United Nations are obsolete since it cannot
consider on the same level states that have power and those who don’t. Even today, the
ability of the UN to prevent conflicts and to coerce its members to meet their obligations
is on debate. Other organizations such as the Organization of American States (OAS) seem
to have their days numbered due to its lack of effectiveness.
For the State, the main concern is survival. This will be achieved through the control they
can exert over smaller states, as well as the characteristics of the structure in which they
operate: "politics is a struggle for power over men, and whatever its ultimate aim may be,
power is its immediate goal and the modes of acquiring it, maintaining and demonstrating
it determine the technique of political action." (Morgenthau, quoted by Einbinder, 2013)
Subsequently, the theoretical Kenneth Walz would propose a new version of this doctrine
called Neorealism or Structural Realism. For the theorist, international anarchy is inherent
in the structures of the system and should be analyzed from that point of view and not as
the result of human nature. This new trend would also emphasize the way the
international system limits the actions of individual actors, i.e. states.
On the other hand, we have Liberalism. This doctrine is based on the same ideological
principles of the great revolutions of the past four centuries which the International
Relations scholar Michael W. Doyle summarized in four essential principles: All citizens are
equal before the law; State officials exercising power due to the consent of the electorate
and should be handled within the framework of the law; the economy is based on the
recognition and protection of private property; economic decisions are determined by
supply and demand and shall be free of all bureaucracy restrictions. (Doyle cited by Peñas,
1997)
Within the liberalist doctrine a state should not intervene in the internal affairs of other
states, all of them are equal before the international community and should be governed
by democratic principles. In fact, the internal features of each state determine how they
will develop their International Relations: "Liberalism focuses on explaining the
international relations phenomenon on the variations in the preferences of states, and not
in the national interest or distribution of material capabilities that are given from the
place of each state in the international system." (Pauselli, 2013)
Although Liberalism recognizes that states have their own interests and keep themselves
in constant competition with others, it believes that these entities share interests and
concerns that may lead them to collaborative actions that will benefit both local and
internationally. In that sense Liberalism defends "the supremacy of human reason over
the human fear and the lust for power." (Jackson and Sorensen, 2010)

27

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

Indeed, this idea of a political order based on multilateral cooperation and good relations
regulated by international organizations and international law is part of the statements of
Idealism, an ideological trend contemporary to Liberalism. From this meeting of ideas
Liberal Idealism would be subsequently born.
Andrew Moravcsik, Professor at Princeton University, developed the liberal theory of
International Relations based on three key aspects: Individual and private groups, not
states, are the primary actors in world politics; states represent some key subgroups of
domestic society, whose interests they serve; setting these preferences through the
international system determines the State behavior. (1997) In that sense, foreign policy
will no longer be based on seeking to maintain the balance of power but also maintaining
the relations of trust generated between democratic regimes. (Doyle, quoted by Pauselli,
2013)
Although The Liberalist and Realist doctrines have dominated the theoretical world of
International Relations in the last century, there are some other trends that have gained
prominence in the last decades. Among them, a novel approach that combines two
different kinds of thinking: On one hand we have the Constructivist Theory, with a
systemic approach; and secondly, the Cosmopolitan Theory, which approaches are well
suited to the reality of a globalized world. These two new kinds of thinking will establish
the basis for our postulation.
3.1.

THE CONSTRUCTIVIST THEORY

The Constructivist Theory believes International Relations are the result of interactions
between actors, in a context that also involves economic, political or social external
forces, as in any society. In this sense, "competition is an important part, but it is also
possible cooperation, indifference, or any other possibility." (Siqueiros, 2001)
For Constructivism, the states’ identities which will determine their own being and that of
others, is changing and with it so do their interests, subject to the political, social,
historical and cultural contexts of each country:
“In contrast to realism that holds that international relations are state driven
according to their security and material interests, and to liberalism that
concentrates on the interdependency of international actors, constructivism
considers international politics as ‘a sphere of interaction through which states’
identities and practices are created’’(Jackson and Sorensen, 2010)”. (Einbinder,
2013)

28

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

The constructivist approach "proposes the idea of collective identity in the relations
between states, in which self-interest and collective interest are effects of a process of
identification with the other." (Pauselli, 2013) This identification is constantly changing
and that could lead states from a competitive environment to one of mutual cooperation
in which international organizations play a determine role since, as indicated by the
researcher and blogger Costán Siqueiros Bruna (2011) those guarantee and uphold
international standards and the setting in which they are created through negotiation.
The Constructivist theory considers both the ideas and the rules not only determine the
identity of the states but also the structures that define international relations. However,
both ideas and identities are not static and can change the context in which the actors
unfold.
Both for International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy the value of Constructivism lies in
the ability to create frameworks to not only establish common goals but also to establish
and organized work to solve common problems. As Siqueiros explains "international
politics (...) should not seek unnecessary confrontation (sometimes it is unavoidable, of
course), but the construction of common positions, arrangements acceptable to the
majority, and negotiation." (2011)
As a result of this interaction process, the states’ identities are formed and transformed.
By recognizing common problems and establishing procedures for action, and common
objectives, identities with similar features will be formed to obey common points of view,
that is, collective identities.
In turn, collective identities can generate a collective consciousness that enables a
harmonious transformation of social reality: "In a broad philosophical consideration,
Social Constructivism is about seeing human consciousness changing, adapting to and
participating in international (or global) life." (Villanueva, 2010) This idea of a single
consciousness is linked to the thesis of Cosmopolitanism. This does not mean that the goal
is that everyone in society would think the same way, but to be aware of its universality
and to think of the world as a society, not as a set of several distinct and even opposing
societies.
3.2.

THE COSMOPOLITAN THEORY

The Cosmopolitanism is not recent. The idea of someone considering him/herself as a
global citizen comes from the ancient Greece. Stoics would propose the idea of a moral
community that unites all human beings, no matter what their condition and status were
Later in history, these principles would be associated with different philosophical
approaches until this day an age when they are more relevant than ever.

29

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

The reflections of philosophers such as Immanuel Kant refer to the need for rights for all
men over nationality, in order to achieve a universal order. Nowadays, due to
globalization, the concept has regained relevance:
“Again, the secular protest against corporate-led globalization (…) as well as the
excesses displayed and atrocities committed by those who evince narrow religious
and ethnic identities, have led to the urgent reposing of two basic Cosmopolitan
questions: Can we ever live peacefully with one another? What do we share,
collectively, as human beings?” (Vartovec and Cohen, 2002)
For the Cosmopolitan Theory all human beings belong to one and the same community. In
fact, Kant saw it coming, as he though "the world was increasingly interconnected to the
point that human neighborhood was inevitable." (Kant quoted by Lucena, 2011)
In the context of International Relations, Cosmopolitanism proposes to maintain relations
among states based on the principles of equality and political, economic and social
inclusion. The general idea of this movement lies in: “the willingness to be part of a
society of nations and participate in its welfare, on material, institutional or moral
grounds". (Villanueva, 2010) At this point, the cosmopolitan perspective has some
similarities with both Liberalism, in the sense of equality between the actors, as well as
Constructivism, when it comes to political inclusion and international cooperation.
In addition, the Cosmopolitanism applied to foreign policy has as principles to establish
mechanisms for international cooperation in communication and culture; to assume the
complexity of the world given the variety of cultures and ideas; and to promote an
inclusive worldview. "Cosmopolitanism is based on ethical, cultural and legal values which
universal validity can provide a fairer world political order." (Lucena, 2011)
In general, we must understand this theory on the basis of inclusion, equality and
belonging to a world community, maintaining a sense of belonging and responsibility for
the whole and not the parts. That is, the Cosmopolitanism proposes to establish a
collective consciousness of being a part of something bigger to facilitate coexistence and
the joint development of global society.
3.3.

COSMOPOLITAN CONSTRUCTIVISM

Constructivism and Cosmopolitanism have many parallels. Both trends call for
cooperation, negotiation and equal treatment between states as the basis for peaceful
coexistence within the international community. Authors such as the political scientist Dr.
Cesar Villanueva find in Cosmopolitan Constructivism the basis for the development of
policies and strategies of Cultural and Public Diplomacies in the future.

30

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

Cosmopolitan Constructivism has been built on the idea that "people, cultures and states
matter, and cultural and public diplomacies collaborate in the inter-subjective
construction of ideas, norms and identities towards cooperation, welfare and
understanding." (Villanueva, 2010)
This new theoretical paradigm takes from Constructivism the principle of states’ identities
being created and transformed in the context of International Relations given the
importance of the existence of international organizations that provide legal mechanisms
to maintain order and cooperation between states. While from Cosmopolitan collects the
idea of building a political, legal and moral structure in which all public and private agents
share the same responsibilities and the same individual rights towards a more just and
equitable world order.
The construction of ideas and identities, own and collective, that allow building better
International Relations in a context of respect and appreciation of cultural differences and
cultural exchange is the main goal for this theoretical trend. In turn, it will enable us to
understand International Relations as a mechanism that allows the construction of ideas,
norms and identities to generate multilateral cooperation considering both the
population, as cultures and states and goals.
One of the greatest challenges for this new paradigm is the application of its principles in
the foreign policy of states. Villanueva (2011) believes that a program for the
implementation of Cosmopolitan Constructivism should contain these six basic points: 1.
Creating peaceful and friendly relations with other nations; 2. Investing on international
student exchanges targeting groups in foreign societies that have the talent but not the
resources to study abroad; 3. Creating a solid infrastructure for international cooperation;
4. Establishing institutions abroad as a platform to share knowledge about our own
country. 5. Building the necessary channels to communicate with foreign audiences, 6.
Educating young people through school programs on international solidarity, mutual
understanding and sensitivity to diversity and multiculturalism.
For this new theoretical approach, Cultural Diplomacy is a great tool to achieve the
objectives developed by Villanueva and also allow the agents involved more dynamism in
the negotiations for political agreements that seek to build and improve communication
channels and multilateral action. In that way is possible to establish "common goals, build
global awareness of the conditions and lifestyles of others around the world, and spread
solidarity and peace among nations worldwide." (Villanueva, 2010)
In that context, Pop Culture, as part of Cultural Diplomacy, will also play an increasingly
important role.

31

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

CAP III
Pop Power

1. POP CULTURE: A complex system
Pop Culture is not an isolated phenomenon and cannot be separated from the social life of
a community. Neither can be investigated regardless of the context in which it operates as
both internal and external factors can transform the reality studied. The daily interactions
between individuals, turns and setbacks from cultural and entertainment industry, and
even state policies, remove and add to Pop Culture constantly.
Despite the continuous alterations, Pop Culture is not unrelated to Popular Culture and its
original ways. On the contrary, this is an updated and more reality based version of it
more adjusted to the current market consumption patterns.
As stated before, both anime and Kpop are cultural products from their native countries
but by no means are isolated from the influence of other cultures: in the beginning, anime
was based on Disney’s drawing style (USA), while Kpop arises from the mixture of
traditional Korean music and Western rhythms like hip hop and techno. Both cases are the
result of a longstanding process of intercultural interaction.
In their book Communication beetween Cultures (2004), Larry Samovar and Richard Porter
define multiculturalism as "an interaction between people whose cultural perceptions and
symbolic systems are different enough to alter the communication event." In the case of
Japan, animators were the ones who, through their interaction with Western culture and
cultural industry, transformed manga into what is currently known as anime. The Korean
situation is similar: traditional music blending with American rhythms ended due to the
interaction of young Korean immigrants with Western culture.
Culture works as a system: its constituent elements are interconnected as a network.
Whenever an aspect of culture changes, the whole system changes with it. When the
Spanish came to America in the late fifteenth century, the interaction with native peoples
of the continent led to widespread changes in its system of beliefs, symbols, customs and
others. These changes were gradual and eventually covered all aspects of the daily life of
these peoples. That’s inevitable.
Let’s think about Kpop scene as a system with a defined structure, including the music
industry, the State, the media and the public (fans). The processes within the system Kpop
are automatized (Morfostasis): The production companies have established its own their

32

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

recruitment and training processes; also, they already know the procedures for the
musical and audiovisual production; the fan clubs are also organized to support the artists;
etc.
These automatized processes ensure that there is an order in the system: each person
knows their role and executes it as established. The information (the immense amount of
information) allows maintaining that order (Negentropy). For example, when a Kpop band
like TVXQ is ready to make its comeback, their record company (SM Entertainment)
releases concept teasers that somehow establish both the new image of the band and
their new sound. This information allows the media to spread the news; the fan clubs get
prepared to purchase the new material; and producers collect data from social networks
to estimate the impact achieved. Social systems are always sharing information, it gives
them stability.
The music companies are always paying attention to the new trends that pop-up around
the world, those that capture public attention and generate big sales. They also take into
account the sales of their products, specialized reviews and what their audience have to
say. This can be understood as an information package that is outside the system: the
feedback. This information will lead to changes within the system and reconfigure it to
better suit the surrounding environment. Information creates order, but it also transforms
it.
Although it may look simple, the social systems’ behavior can be very complex; it directly
influences the number of actors that comprise it. If understanding a person (which works
as a system) can be very difficult, we can only imagine how difficult it could get to
understand a family, an institution, a country or the international community.
To better understand the complexity of these systems, the global thinker and sociologist
Edgar Morin (1994) proposed an analytical model based on a tetragrammaton which
comprises four stages: order / disorder / interaction / organization. This model outlines
how the systems operate and thrive in a chaotic environment, keeping their internal
balance.
The anime case is interesting. Anime industry is complex and is closely linked to manga
since besides taking its graphic style; many anime series are based on popular manga
stories. In turn, the world of Japanese animation is related to the entertainment industry
which includes smaller industries as the music one, advertising, and even education and
tourism.
Contrary to what overseas fans often think anime industry depends almost exclusively on
the Japanese domestic market and responds to the needs and interests of it, whose
quality standard is getting higher and higher. In that way, the anime system already has an
established order. However, what would happen during a period of market turmoil? What
if sales go down or a foreign animated series get higher sales than local production in

33

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

Japan. This situation would involve an interaction with the industry’s environment to
acknowledge in its public, the market, which could work to bring sales up once again. A
new manga that is creating a lot of hype, a new trend as moe 11 or ecchi 12, some new way
to leverage the popularity of an anime series, a particularly effective mean to generate a
lot of hype; and more. Product of this interaction, the industry will take action, the same
that will refer to a particular form of organization.
Here's another example. The cosplay, on the contrary to what some may believe, was
born as an initiative of the fans and not the anime industry. This activity is very popular
worldwide and is currently the backbone of large conventions around the globe. This
situation was strange to the anime system until it called the attention of the media and
the general public. Initially, the cosplayers could be seen as isolated cases but, over time,
this activity was even driven by the same industry that runs contests and awards the best
exponents of the genre. The order is altered by the infiltration of an information package
from the outside, an interaction and then a new form of organization emerges. That is, as
humans, systems to the environment conditions.
This can also be understood from a dialogic principle, i.e. a situation in which two
opposing logics are closely related. For example, order and disorder. Both concepts are
antagonistic but one cannot exist without the other. Kpop comprises Western rhythms
and sounds mostly but its essence on a lyrical and interpretive level is Korean. Domestic
and foreign values are opposed yet complement each other within this genre.
Anime is going through a similar situation. The Japanese animation industry exists almost
entirely thanks to the Japanese market (otaku). However, the popularity achieved by the
gender in the rest of the world is due in large part to foreign fans that spread the word
about their favorite series on social networks and boost the formal and informal Anime
market growth in their own countries. The local market is what sustains the industry, but
its global popularity comes from outside.
Dialogic dichotomy can also be seen on the other side. In Peru there are thousands of
Kpop fans, mostly teenage women. Although this country is considered multicultural due
to the variety of cultures that converge on it, domestic and foreign, there are still many
antibodies among a sector of the population to the foreign.
When a TV Station or a magazine publishes an article on the subject, one of the usual
questions is "why do you prefer Kpop over the music of your country?” This question has
since its inception two big misconceptions: First, if you listen to some particular kind of
music you cannot listen to anything else, because they mistakenly believe that the music
we listen to defines our personality and the fact we hear various kinds at the same time
11

The term moe (Literally “Blossom” in Japanese) is referred to a non-sexual fetish that a fan may have for a
manga or anime character.
12
The term ecchi is referred to the first letter of the Japanese word hentai (“pervert”), and is used to identify
those anime or manga series with non-sexually explicit erotic content.

34

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

breaks the stereotype they have of them. Second, we should consume our own music
instead of the foreign just because that’s the right thing to do.
The first statement has no logic since it relies solely on social prejudices that link music
preferences with certain life styles. The second one is the most common argument used
by Korean pop music or foreign music detractors in general. Whatever the reason Kpop
fans prefer folk music, for example. The dichotomy arises when despite growing and
developing within a national culture a person identifies itself with a foreign cultural event.
Both scenarios do not cancel or exclude each other. On the contrary, they complement
one another within the fan’s personal world and its social circle.
As explained, the human being is a complex system, organized and constantly
reorganized. Despite having a cultural background set by our environment (family, friends,
society), we are constantly exposed to information packages from all over the world. It is
inevitable that all that information have an influence on our way of thinking, our
preferences, ideas and beliefs.
However, this does not mean that a person renounces its identity. On the contrary, this is
reinforced by the decision to seek for new ways of expression. Pop Culture is just that, an
expression of our identity, not only individually, but collectively.
2. POP CULTURE: A new language
To understand Pop Culture in all its dimensions can be very difficult at times and often
elicits all sorts of criticism from purists who consider it a marketing product, vain or
anything but important. However, its convening power and its ability to transcend the
ideological, political and cultural barriers, makes it a valuable tool for communication, a
new form of language.
It's funny because language is part of culture and it is as a dissemination tool of it. Culture
could also function as a form of language. In fact, the symbols and means can also
transmit or channel a message. This doesn’t mean we all interpret the same way the
interaction of our own culture with another since, as explained, it can be understood
differently depending on the cultural background of each person.
Yet, there’s no doubt about the communicative ability of Pop Culture. Like language, it is
constantly evolving, although some purists from both, language and culture, assert that it
is rather an involution. On the contrary, it’s not a setback but a move towards a more
standardized and accessible communication with all the "wrongs" that may bring with it.

35

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

And Pop Culture plays its part in this process. The popularity of a series, a movie or a song
can generate the emergence of new words or new meanings, as happened for example
with the famous phrase "it's over 9000", taken from Dragon Ball Z 13.
It's interesting how much language and culture, despite being collective in nature (as they
have no meaning outside of the community), also have an individual dimension. "Our
language and our languages make and mark our own identity throughout life. It structure
us and links the members of our group daily." (Vanhoudt, 2005)
If we refer to language, that individual dimension would be the speech which ends up
being the main source of enrichment of the first one. Each individual’s particular way of
communicating offers endless possibilities that, being accepted and used by a group of
people, can end up being part of the collective speaking (language).
Let’s take slang for example. Have you ever asked yourself where the slang you use every
day come from? These terms were not so from public domain. When you create a term or
give a new meaning to an existing one to refer to something specific it’s usually used with
the more immediate social circle or the one in which the term can be used more
frequently. The more the term is used the easier it will be spread, especially if it refers to a
very common situation or action. The same applies to culture.
From a systemic point of view, speech plays the role of dissipative structure within the
system "language”. In other words, it is through speech that we interact with another
culture, this exchange of codes obtains new information that is taken to the language and
ends up by transforming and enriching it. "Speech is essential for language to be
established." (Benavides, 2005)
As with language, culture also has a particular dimension on each individual. In a more
broad sense, every culture has a popular level, where most interactions and
transformations arise. At that level, culture is more affected by trends in society and also
has a longer range over society itself, local or global. On the other hand, it also has an
particular level in which each of us configures and reconfigures its system of symbols and
beliefs, our culture.
What would be the “speech” of culture? To answer this you should first ask yourself: what
is the space where you can produce the greatest number of interactions and production of
symbols? If we think about it, we’ll conclude that Popular Culture is that space. Let’s
reflect on it: How did popular music was created? Where do myths and legends come
13

The phrase “it’s over 9000” makes reference to a famous scene from the anime Dragon Ball Z in which the
characters Goku and Vegeta have a confrontation. While Goku raises his energy level, Vegeta checks on it
using an artifact. After realizing the explosive increase on Goku’s level of energy he claims “it’s over 9000”.
The phrase became an internet phenomenon when Ophra Winfrey became the victim of an internet joke
performed by a web portal 4Chan user.

36

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

from? And dances? It is within Popular Culture where all these forms of expression appear
or at least are discovered.
Of all the dimensions Popular Culture can have, the one that can be considered as the
spearhead is Pop Culture. Being much more accessible since it has the greatest ability to
become a mass product, it ends up as the “speech” of culture.
Pop Culture, being accessible and massive, is often the first contact of an individual with a
culture different from their own and will not be difficult to understand and assimilate. This
interaction with Pop Culture transforms the cultural dimension of that person, who then
ends up affecting those around him like in a domino effect. How is it that Korean soap
operas can be so successful in Peru? In the same way that Mexican telenovelas are
successful in countries as diverse as the Philippines or Morocco: Pop Culture will always be
the best way to bring two societies with different cultures closer.
3. THE HYPERCENTRAL CULTURE
In 1999 the French linguist Louis-Jean Calvet introduced in the book Towards an ecology of
the world's languages, the gravity model. This diagram explains the dynamics of the
world's languages compared with a concentric system, like in the solar system. Although
there are thousands of languages in the world, just a few predominate because of a
massive use, and around which rotate the others.
To Calvet English would be the hypercentral language, that is, the most widely used not
exclusively but also as a second language. In the second level there would be another 10
languages gravitating around it, which are called supercentral, as the sun and planets in
the Milky Way. These second-degree languages are Chinese, French, Spanish and others.
Also, rotating around these supercentral languages there are 200 additional languages
called central languages. The peripheral languages would come to be those hundreds of
dialects used by a minority, such as indigenous communities in the jungle of Peru, for
example.
Calvet’s gravity model may be applied to culture. If languages are part of cultures,
wouldn’t it be possible to rank them according to their global reach? Actually yes, it is
possible, but the way we can classify languages is different from the way we could
differentiate cultures.
If we rely on Calvet’s logic there would be one or more hypercentral cultures nowadays,
probably linked to the English language. There would also be other supercentral, central
and peripheral cultures. On the second level we could probably find the Latin American

37

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

culture, and some Asian cultures, such as the Indian or the Chinese, due to the large
populations of both India and China.
What’s really interesting is the fact that if a person can speak two or more languages, it
would probably be able to understand or to identify with two or more cultures. This is
much more complex than the fact of mastering two languages for cultures include plenty
of elements that influence our lifestyle and the way we understand the world. Imagine the
case of an Indian immigrant’s son born and raised in the UK. From a very young age he will
be able to understand the British culture but also will have access to the Indian culture
through his parents, who will not only talk him about their country of origin but also their
customs.
Absorption of cultural traits through the process of learning a language is inevitable. Even
if you learned phonetics and writing, it could not be said that you acquired the language.
The process would be incomplete, as to refer to a complete learning it must include the
context in which that language is generated and developed. It would be very difficult if, for
example, in Latin American schools English was taught without a single reference to
American culture or society. It just would not make sense as knowing a language opens
the possibility to understand the worldview of the people who use it. Bilingual individuals
not only speak two languages, they also live two cultures.
What is certain is that today the most widely spoken language in the world is English,
although we could not say that the American or the British cultures are the most
widespread. Perhaps in a moment in history, both had the ability and power to influence
other cultures due to their colonies and their economic and political influence. But in a
multipolar world like this, where political and economic power is shared reluctantly by the
greatest countries, the position of the hypercentral culture correspond not to country with
the largest number of inhabitants or the one that has the biggest media coverage, even
though these features could be decisive when it comes to the level of influence they have
on it.
What could then be the great culture around which the others revolve? Is there any that
fit the description? Yes, there is, or at least it’s in the making. A culture for which there is
no barrier and through its visual language is almost universal. We are talking about the
internet culture.
The Internet culture is shaped by everything the net can contain, all the symbols and
forms of language that users create and use. Initially, these practices were referred only to
the virtual world; however, interconnectivity and the modernization of social relations
have diluted the thin line between the virtual world and the real one.
About 10 or 15 years ago, being an internet user required having to live parallel lives. Our
online identity should not necessarily be linked to our identity in the real world. Access to

38

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

this service was limited and the amount of information that could be found in the network
of networks about a common user was minimal.
Today, almost all our life is on the Internet, thanks to social networks. Tons of information
about our studies, work, travels, vacations, friendships and relationships, everything is just
one click away. Such is the influence of internet in our lives that our virtual self can cause
more impact on them and those of the people around us than our real self. If you do not
follow your friend on Twitter he may reevaluate your friendship. The degree of social
acceptance that we have today depends more on how many likes our posts on Facebook
can get than our academic achievements, for example. Some experts even believe that in
a few years our profiles on social networks will be our ID card.
Speaking in terms of culture, for those who were new to the fabulous world of Internet,
understanding the codes and symbols used in such an environment could be tricky.
Internet had its own form of language created by users collaboratively. The Internet
culture had been born.
This Internet culture is no longer exclusive from digital interface. Because of the reality /
virtuality interaction, symbols, codes and Internet own statements are part of the real
world: memes, chatting, Annonymus, cybersex, and others. Just as the real world
translates itself into billions of bits of information, the output of Internet on what we
understand as real has never been larger, to the point of a symbiosis between them that
cannot be undone.
The most interesting phenomenon of Internet culture or Cyberculture is that this is a great
set of codes and symbols in which users from around the world that have internet access
can participate. We are talking about an omnipresent culture in practical terms,
containing information and cultural features of different cultures from around the globe.
Cyberculture would be then the hypercentral culture which global reach makes it the most
widespread today. Even those who do not have internet access are affected by it. The way
it influences the life of modern society ends up also influencing the social dynamics, like a
domino effect were also affecting the lives of those called digital illiterate: If you are not
connected through social networks you’ll probably remain socially excluded and your
chances of survival will be affected too.
However, of all cultures converging in Cyberculture, what is the most influential? If we rely
on the prominence of the language we could say that Western culture is the one, due to
English being the most spoken language in the world and mastering it requires knowing
some aspects of American culture. If we rely on the number of people in the world who
know a culture or have absorbed some characteristics of it, it could be said that Chinese
culture is the most influential.

39

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

If we talk about massiveness, accessibility and capacity to embrace audiences with
different cultural bases, Pop Culture fits that description perfectly. In fact, the elements of
this culture are the ones which proliferate and spread over the Internet. What are topics
that can connect people from different corners of the world, with different languages and
religions? Two people from different countries can be fans of the same band, series or
cartoon character. In fact, Cyberculture is already a part of Pop Culture and, at the same
time, it grows from it. There already are universal codes within the Internet culture that
can be understood and shared by users, which became not only a new language but also a
new form of Pop Culture.
In this context, what role do Korean and Japanese Pop Culture have? Well, both anime and
Kpop are a part of the global culture through its presence on the Internet. Although
initially those were not designed for that type of media, as they appeared long before it
was Internet became massive, eventually ended up using it as a launch platform
worldwide, especially Kpop. The world would had not discovered Kpop if "Gangnam Style"
wouldn’t have become a viral video. In fact, most fans of the genre became aware of it
that way, so it is valid to say that Youtube is Korea’s the best ally.
Anime, on the other hand, became popular despite not having the Internet during its
heyday in the mid 90's. However, the media has not only made it popular on every corner
of the world as Japanese animation. It has also made it available, generating legions of
fans around the globe. Undoubtedly, the largest source of Japanese animation
consumption right now is Internet and this is very important, as discussed below.
4. POP COSMOPOLITANISM: Cosmopolitan Pop Culture
Although Cosmopolitanism is a school of thought which origins date back to ancient
Greece, it was until recent decades that, in a context of growing interdependence among
countries, has been gaining relevance. Being cosmopolitan is to think of itself as a citizen
of the world, where there are no differences or divisions and we are all part of the same
community. It’s to think we're part of a whole and not a fraction adrift.
There’s no doubt this is a systemic vision that complicates the understanding of our role in
the global society. Even though for some conservative nationalists this idea could sound
outrageous, a betrayal to tradition and country, it’s the most logical and reasonable
considering that our country would not survive if we held no relations with the rest of the
international community. And us too, if we didn’t establish relationships with people of
different cultures, especially in a multicultural country like Peru. The bonds of dependency
that have been generated through treaties, strategic alliances, business or politics are
proof that we are not alone in the world and on the other side of the border there are
people like us with the same needs.

40

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

In this path, as has happened with the language and culture, what was previously thought
as "our", now has a much broader and less individualistic meaning in this globalized world.
In fact, globalization, according to sociologist Saskia Sassen, is defined as "a process that
denationalizes what has been constructed as national." (2008) In other words, what was
understood before as a country’s exclusive now has global dimensions, what was once
considered as a certain group’s own becomes part of the world heritage.
Pop Culture, fueled, widespread and reconfigured by the media, has been particularly
affected by the huge amount of information that flows from one side of the world to the
other. The trend is towards a Global Pop Culture that picks up elements of all great
cultures, the major media icons, where we could find something from Hollywood,
Bollywood and Chollywood 14.
Consumers of this new Pop Culture are not interested in intellectual or historical property
of what they like to consume as long as they are able to consume it. During the 70's, in the
Cold War days, Western culture was forbidden in the U.S.S.R. However, the youngsters
managed to get the Beatles records and gathered to listen to them clandestinely. It didn’t
matter if the music they were enjoying so much was made by "the enemy", it was what
the world was listening to and they wanted to be part of the wave too.
Now, with all of the ease media gives us we can enjoy a great cultural buffet in which we
can try a little bit of everything. We no longer talk about cosmopolitanism in a political or
ideological sense, but also cultural. We can talk now about Pop Cosmopolitanism.
The term was coined by Marcelo Suarez-Orozco and Desiree B. Qin-Hillard in their book
Globalization: Culture and Education in the New Millenium (2004). Henry Jenkins, a
professor at the Southern California University and author of several books on Popular
Culture and media, defines Pop Cosmopolitan as "someone whose embrace of global
popular media represents an escape route out of the parochialism of her local
community." (2006)
We can say that pop cosmopolitans construct their identity from popular demonstrations
from anywhere in the world regardless of their origin whenever they feel identified with
them. In fact, "the pop cosmopolitans themselves are able to further their own exposure
and choose from what the world has to offer (limited to what is on the Internet, of course)
in terms of popular culture." (Pradhan, 2010)
Thanks to the hyperlink we can start our virtual tour on a news portal and end up on a
website dedicated to Thai cuisine. The variety of content that we find on the Internet is as
vast as there are stars in the universe and the volatility of the user's attention while
surfing the net is very high. Just a little distraction, a striking image or sound is enough for
us to jump from one topic to another. Suddenly, we come across something we've never
14

The term Chollywood comes from Cholo and Hollywood, and refers to celebrities and showbiz in Peru.

41

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

seen on television or heard on the radio. Many discovered Kpop that way. Many others,
anime.
To be a pop cosmopolitan, as Pradhan suggests, is an almost indispensable requirement to
have access to the Internet, or at least belong to a social circle that has access to that
platform and who share similar interests. The Internet is a vast library of Pop Culture but
more importantly, it is a major international forum. Youngsters and teenagers from all
over the world meet there to share information about their favorite bands or to team up
for playing online games. Here language barriers are not important, the important thing is
to have the same hobbies and, over time, the same cultural patterns.
Jenkins is aware of the enormous potential of the Internet as a meeting platform for
young people from around the world, creating a global network; and also how, in the long
term, these interactions ultimately affect their perception of the world and themselves.
He states that this global network is a force towards adaptation to globalization, and not
only shapes this generation but it could lead to a political change in the way people think
of themselves, as global citizens, as pop cosmopolitans rather than just Americans. (2005)
But the possibilities that imply the fabulous world of the Internet are not reduced simply
to store information or to be in a chat room of global proportions. It is also the largest
platform for the production of the most diverse content as well as raw material for this
new social category called pop cosmopolitan. Memes, for example, are creations from the
virtual world that now are part of Pop Culture and the everyday language of young people
everywhere.
The link between the pop cosmopolitan and internet is indissoluble; however, it gets
deeper and deeper as these users establish links with other users through it, especially
when we go from being just consumers to produce new content, that is, when we go from
users to prosumers 15.
A Kpop fan depends on the Internet to keep its hobby going, either individually (getting
updated on its favorite artists or purchasing music and merchandising) or collectively
(participating in activities with other fans, organizing and sharing information on fan
clubs). Usually, it is through social networking that fans get to know each other and get
organize. On many occasions, fan clubs from around the world make contact and work
together without even knowing and several hundred miles between.
Furthermore, although anime already has a formal market in Peru (but not as big as the
informal one) Internet remains the largest source of consumption, as discussed below. In
both cases, fans are not only consumers but also producers and sometimes even
publicists. These roles are crucial to the success of a cultural product, regardless of its
15

The term comes from the words producer and cosumer. Prosumers are the ones that consume and also
produce new content on internet. Bloggers are considered prosumers.

42

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

format. As Pradhan says, "(the pop cosmopolitan) are able to participate in the creation of
a global popular culture, bringing attention to specific products through its consumption."
(2010)
The founder of the web portal SeoulBeats, Ji Young Park, believes that "social media has
definitely had an impact on how accessible and easy it’s to find these groups (Kpop)". A
social network such as Youtube allow us to discover more and more new artists every
minute, but sites like Facebook and Twitter are the ones that allow fans to share their new
discoveries and make them viral.
In Latin America there are plenty of sites (especially on Facebook) dedicated to anime. Not
only that, there’s also hundreds of pages devoted exclusively to an anime series or a
character. The Internet almost unlimited capacity to store information allows constant
production and reproduction of contents that reinforce the ideas and codes that end
being a part of Pop Cosmopolitanism. You just need to take a look at Tumblr website to
understand the magnitude of the impact that pop cultural products have in the world.
Pop Cosmopolitanism is not a culture in itself, but a way of conceiving the Global Pop
Culture. If you believe that cultural trends (and market ones as both concepts are
hopelessly intertwined) could only be created by the cultural producers and promoters,
it’s way more than that. It’s a good example of the ordinary public having the upper hand,
sometimes able to achieve what the industry can’t.
5. POP COSMOPOLITANISM: A new type of Activism
In 2008, Paul Mawhinney became famous for having the largest musical collection in the
world (approximately 2.5 million records). It took many years of his life for this music lover
to put together this exclusive collection, considered unique. We can only imagine the
dedication required to perform such a task. Although a true fan is capable of that and
more.
What would you be willing to do for your favorite artist or series? The answers obtained
from the fans could be as diverse as crazy but demonstrate some serious commitment
from them. From missing school or being late for work, traveling several days or waiting
for hours at the door of a record store, the truth is that being a fan is not easy task and
demands time, effort and money. Yet the achievements can be really impressive and the
satisfaction infinite.
When the Dragon Ball Z: The Battle of the Gods movie was released in Japan in March
2013, the fans community in Latin America began an intense campaign through social
media to premiere it also in this region. Not only that, they also demanded that the film

43

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

was dubbed and included the original voices used in the dubbed version of the series from
the 90's.
The pressure was such that eventually a distribution company acquired the rights of the
film to be released in Latin America, but fans did not yield. Through Facebook and Twitter
they demanded both the distribution company as well as the voice actors to confirm that
the film would actually have the original voices. They wouldn’t take a no for an answer.
On July that year the official announcement was made: the new Dragon Ball movie would
include the original voices (most of them) from the 90’s dubbed version, including Goku
and Vegeta (the main characters), played by the voice actors Mario Castañeda and René
García respectively. The result was a massive box office success in Latin America. With
nearly two million dollars revenue, Peru ranked third on the region’s box office.
Even if it seems like an isolated and insignificant fact, the release of this movie has
changed the film landscape and put anime on everyone's mouths again. Until this event,
never before an anime film had been released in Latin America in such a large scale, with
the exception of some select theaters and film festivals. The fact that Dragon Ball Z: The
Battle of the Gods was introduced in major movie theater chains, supported by strong
advertisement campaigns, opens the possibility for other big releases later on. Do not
forget that Japan not only produces animated series but also movies, some of which have
achieved prestigious awards such as Spirited Away, winner of the Academy award for Best
Animated Film in 2003.
Now we know that the consumer is the one who has the final word and, empowered by
social media, has managed to break down the invisible walls that existed within the
commercial film circuit in the region.
When the arrival of the Korean band JYJ was announced in 2012 after months of requests
sent to various production companies through social media, the band’s fan club set as goal
to get the sold out status on ticket sales. The aim was to capture the attention of both
national and foreign media (especially Koreans) to show that there was an interesting
market in Latin America.
The goal was achieved: only an hour after the tickets went on sale, the box office reported
having almost ran out of stock. A couple of days later, they decided to expand the capacity
of the concert venue to allow more people in. Media reported the unexpected success of
a musical genre which existence remained unknown for them. Even JYJ record company
issued a statement thanking fans for their awesome support.
Weeks before the presentation of JYJ, their Peruvian fan club offered help for foreign fans
to facilitate lodging and bring them to concert venue. The achievement was actually
reached by a collective effort of the entire Kpop community in Peru and not just fthe
band’s fans. Even some rival fan clubs participated in the campaign. The idea was that if

44

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

the first Kpop concert in the city was successful, other groups would also want to visit the
country in the future. So it happened.
Both experiences left a great value teaching when it comes to achieving a goal, the
differences were put aside for the benefit of the rest. Although it seems a fable, fans of
both anime and Kpop (many of whom are fans of both) have shown that they can make
significant progress despite the marginalized social status that is often granted to them
erroneously for following unpopular hobbies.
What do these experiences reminds us of? Could we perhaps compare them with activist
groups? It may sound crazy but if we analyze both cases we realize that the similarities are
many. For the website PermanentChange.org, "activism is simply taking action for social
change." That is, generating changes in society’s lifestyle for the common good, or at least
what the social group considers good: equality, respecting human rights, preserving the
environment, etc.
Anything that makes the world a better place to live in is usually considered as a goal for
activists groups. Although activism may well be developed individually, in the long run
ends up being a collective effort that can reach a global scale.
The excitement about otaku and Kpop fans hobbies is a great motivator not only to
organize them but also leads to significant concrete actions. These groups establish work
plans and objectives and goals: we want our favorite group to have concert in Peru; or
want the next Neon Genesis Evangelion movie to be release in Peruvians cinemas.
In fact, the mechanisms used in the cases of JYJ and Dragon Ball Z: The Battle of the Gods
are the same used in online campaigns by NGOs such as Greenpeace and WWF, with very
few differences. Even though both have very different goals, their strategies are the same:
put pressure on decision makers. For the first, it was necessary to pressure film
distributors and production companies respectively. For the second, the demands are
pointed to political actors and transnational corporations.
The way fans of a genre or a style of animation can become involved with causes they
pursue is usually the same in which many activists today started: through the increasingly
active participation on the Internet. Sometimes a minimum online participation is enough
to channel the energy of a person towards taking concrete actions and participating in
organizations and activist groups.
When it comes to organization, the fans usually do so through social networks. They make
friends there and establish a contacts network with whom they can work on their main
objective, which can vary from one hobby to another. They are not against the system or
conspiring to depose a president. They pursue a more frivolous goal, if you will, but no less
valid.

45

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

How important could be having a concert or featuring a film? If analyzed from a social
perspective, its relevance may not be much, but opening new markets and mobilizing
large investments in the entertainment business can have an interesting effect on the
economy. The important thing about these events is the ability Pop Culture has to
motivate youngsters to take actions.
In today's society there are few reasons powerful enough to make a person to change its
lifestyle. The fondness for Kpop or anime, like many others (fantasy literature, science
fiction movies, etc.) has the distinction of a public gathering, youngsters mostly,
everywhere, creating a small great global community willing to act.
AnimeFLV is one of the Latin America's most popular streaming 16 web sites for anime
movies and TV shows. With almost 2 million followers on their Facebook fan page and
over 1100 titles available for free; AnimeFLV has achieved a great reception that many
companies making huge investments could only dream of.
However, contrary to what many skeptics may think, the hard work required to maintain a
portal like this one is not funded by anime distributors. It’s actually pure and hard piracy.
What motivated them to perform such a task? As explained by one of the managers, their
motives are "regular", "I want to make this web page a good site to watch anime and
share it with everyone." (2013)
Why should an argument like that be considered regular? Storing that amount of material
requires to hire servers, maintaining both the page and social networks takes time, and
reading and answering messages and comments from followers requires patience. Why
would they do this if it wasn’t for money? In the materialistic world we live in that's the
only good reason to perform such a task. However, from a fans perspective, sharing with
peers an anime series is very common, there is no selfishness, they all share and this can
be seen in online communities.
The aim of AnimeFLV managers is to become "the number one (undisputed) free online
anime web on the net, with the best possible service and meeting all the basic needs
someone who likes anime and related stuff may have." Achieving this will require a lot of
work from the website staff, distributed throughout Latin America. This is a collective
work through the Internet from around the world, one of the characteristics of the global
society in which we live.
AnimeFLV managers subtitle many of the series on the site, but also include subtitled
series from other Spanish fansub web sites circulating on the Internet. They don’t receive
a salary for their work and all the income from web advertising is used to finance the
maintenance of the site, unlike other websites that do have a fee for the use of their
16

Streaming is the multimedia distribution through internet where the user consumes a video or audio
product while it’s downloading. Youtube is a streaming site.

46

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

services as Funamation, with the difference these do have the rights from the production
companies to stream their series.
On this case, there are two very important aspects that we do need to take under
consideration: First, the importance of fansub on the dissemination of anime; second, the
role of free anime websites in Spanish. As explained above, the subtitling is usually done
nonprofit by fans, to make anime series accessible for the Spanish-speaking audience.
Where does it all come from? When the series are published in home format (DVD or BluRay) by Japanese animation companies they do not include subtitles in Spanish for the
Latin America audience since is not considered part of their target audience. It is also has
to do with the fact that among the premiere episode of a new series and its DVD release
there may be several months and that time is an eternity for fans who cannot wait to see
the latest episode from their favorite series.
Websites in Spanish make anime accessible for a region that seems to have been
forgotten or not even considered by animation companies. This effort demands hundreds
of hours and resources from fans that do it out of love,. They get organized through social
networks, from different countries, without any payment but the satisfaction of
contributing to that community that shares their tastes and preferences, generating a
strong sense of belonging. Remind you of anything? That’s it, Cosmopolitan
Constructivism.
The fans play a very similar role to the cyber activists from organizations like Avaaz.org, a
website for online public petitions for supporting various causes around the world. They
have a predisposition to take collective initiatives in order to generate mobilizations that
could be exploited in other fields.
Even if pushing for change through the Internet, as cyber activist use to work, gets
countless critics due to being considered a simplistic and uncompromising practice, the
fact of participating shows a great potential that is manifesting itself limitedly through
means that little can do to make an impact on society. "We cannot only blame cyber
activists for their way of thinking, their intentions and their passion for change. We should
start directing attention towards things we all can actually do in real life with our immense
energy", writes the blogger Laeeq Khan (2012).
We need take advantage of all that energy and capacity for action. Perhaps if we take
away the motivational agent the project crumbles. But if we use music or entertainment
or any other kind of hobby to channel the action, it is likely that great strides would be
made in the society structure. Anyone who knows closely how a Kpop fan club is
structured and how it works will recognize immediately that it is way better organized and
even more effective than many public entities.

47

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

CAP IV
Pop Diplomacy

1. POP DIPLOMACY: Forefront of Foreign Policy

Even though International Relations can be very volatile in today's world, as seen in
Ukraine’s and Venezuela’s political crises, the forms and methods of the old art of
diplomacy have not changed much in recent years. However, the foreign ministries of the
world do have new tools to do their job.
Manfredi considers Public Diplomacy as International Relations vanguard (2013) and that
is largely true. As mentioned above, the use of the media in the foreign policy
management is relatively new. But if we want to point out a truly modern and
contemporary trend, Pop Diplomacy can be considered as the spearhead of foreign policy
in cultural terms.
In the cases of Japan and Korea we can understand that states nowadays are not able to
produce cultural products, they can only manage, regulate or promote them. Their work is
but administrative and even if they wanted to reverse the situation, they would face not
only economic but also social and legal constrains.
The sole intervention in the process of building or planning Popular Culture would
delegitimize it as a social construct, but that does not mean that the State cannot do it,
just because it would not be right. Even if they tried to participate directly in the cultural
production they will most likely fail, not getting results as shocking as those that private
sector has achieved through cultural industry or what prosumers had through new media
like the Internet.
What can the State do then? Trying to build on the success that has a cultural product and
declare it as representative of their country’s culture. It took several decades before the
Japanese government, led at the time by former Prime Minister Taro Aso, recognized in
anime and Pop Culture an important ally for the diplomatic work. So much so that in 2008
the popular cartoon character Doraemon was appointed as Ambassador of Japanese
culture by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Still, neither the Japanese diplomacy and its
government have been able to fully exploit the popularity of their own Pop Culture in the
world.

48

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

Korea reacted a little faster. Noticing the growing interest in their dramas and pop music,
did not hesitate to include them in its strategic plan to improve the country's image. They
consistently support the spreading of Kpop to keep alive the idea of a peaceful, modern
and cool Korea. They take advantage of the popularity of their dramas and films to draw
attention to their culture and generate empathy among foreign audiences.
This new kind of diplomacy that works based on the Pop Culture of each country is known
as Pop Diplomacy. While Cultural Diplomacy is focused on individuals and Public
Diplomacy works from a marketing point of view, Pop Diplomacy should be focused on
targeted audiences to enable the country's intensive promotion of their Pop Culture in
already conquered markets, strengthening a consumer pattern.
In terms of Pop Diplomacy, the goal of both, Korea and Japan, is to capture the attention
of their target audience (youngsters and teenagers around the world) and not the states
because, in the long run, it’s that same audience that will not only invest their money in
buying Japanese goods or visit Korea on their vacations, but also will feel a predisposition
towards anything that comes from those places. Even more if these people are in key
positions in the public or private sector.
Pop Culture fans in Japan and Korea, at the forefront of their respective areas, consider
these cultural products as a reflection of modern nations, with more developed cultures
and the most exquisite life styles. What fan would not want to visit the home country that
thing he loves so much? It is certainly the dream or goal of otakus and Kpop fans around
the globe.
Although the question governments could ask themselves would be: Can we improve our
international relations with other countries based on this?
2. POP DIPLOMACY AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Many experts on international law believe that one of the negative effects of the
establishing bilateral or multilateral relations between two or more countries is the fact of
losing gradually their sovereignty. This is due to the responsibilities acquired and the
international standards that limit their actions. But, for the way in which politics and
economics work today this process is inevitable.
The same applies to culture. The unstoppable process of globalization continues, and it
leads to cultural clashes between nations that may hinder the peaceful coexistence and
common development.
In this chaotic context of political tensions, concepts such as Pop Cosmopolitanism play a
key role. As explained above, the ability of people, mostly youngsters can build their

49

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

cultural identity based on what communication tools allow them to know, has generated a
new stream which aim, consciously or unconsciously, is the creation of a global collective
identity.
This new collective identity is brewing within the freedom that allowed by the massive
coverage of Internet and the multiplicity of ways of thinking that can be found there. Pop
Culture serves as an excellent catalyst for cross-cultural social relationships: a common
theme that can connect people from different cultures and in the long term may develop
ties in a space of mutual understanding in the best of cases, or at least to know and be
aware of the other's point of view.
Pop Diplomacy has a large territory there waiting to be exploited, in which it may well act
to reinforce cultural linkages towards the construction of a collective identity worldwide
resulting in the creation of a sense of belonging to a global community. Beyond the
borders of each country, a community with the same aspirations for peace and
development is or should be the main objective.
Of course, the fact that Cultural Diplomacy becomes detached from national interests is
rebuttable and even contradictory, since that its reason for being. However, an
atmosphere of peaceful coexistence and international understanding between cultures
and nations would be beneficial to all stakeholders, particularly states.
Governments should take on the universality (although relative) of Pop Culture that will
allow them to reach the masses to not only build better relationships but to build a
cosmopolitan society, which will open the door to an even more dynamic economy and
policies. And most importantly, they will have the backing of that same society.
One of the main problems in the management of international relations today is the
almost unilateral approach that states give their diplomacy, always prioritizing the political
and economic aspects. They, encapsulated in obsolete conceptions leave aside completely
the cultural issue and get away from the most humane and most important aspect of
society.
The importance of culture in social life lies precisely in its condition of human expression.
Although often imperceptible, culture is critical, for the ongoing process of building
individual identity and can define its behavior in a given context.
The significance of this influence in a common individual may not be very important if we
talk about an ordinary citizen. But when that individual is part of the government or any
organization with the power enough to alter the life of a nation or its relations with other
nations; it becomes more tangible and relevant than ever.
The diplomatic policies are developed in highly schematic form without leaving much
space for free action of an official. It is rightly so for he acts no longer representing himself

50

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

but his country. Still, international relations can be singled out by human behavior. In this
case the bureaucratic structure collapses like a house of cards and needs a contingency
plan.
All state or government plan that does not consider the cultural aspect of both, the
society that has to rule and their own team, will be doomed to fail at some point due to
the human condition, unpredictable and uncontrollable. Do not forget that the State is a
reflection of society in the sense that it is run by governments whose members are the
product of social coexistence.
That same society manifest itself in many ways, one of them is Pop Culture, which is
produced, distributed, consumed and transformed by it. In this set of interactions, Pop
Culture may well help reshape society and its members. In the long run, it could end up
defining the State in form and substance. And although that idea is highly questionable,
we should not forget that the cultural factors are the ones that trigger social and armed
conflicts around the world today.
3. CULTURAL POLICY IN PERU

Despite having survived the economic crash of 2008 and having one of the highest rates of
economic growth in the region, Peru lacks strong cultural policies. In this country, the
culture is still treated as an unnecessary expense rather than an investment. But what is
cultural policy? The Ten-Year Cultural Plan of Medellin (2011 - 2020), prepared by the
Mayor of Medellin (Colombia), contains a fairly comprehensive definition of the term:
"Cultural policy can be understood as guidelines for action that originate in the
mobilization of all actors of society. Its implementation involves everyone: the
State, civil institutions, social and community groups, private companies and
citizens, based on a consensus reached on the order which must be achieved and
the development of aspects that are to transform or continue, after the
satisfaction of certain needs and demands, and promoting development of
symbolic belongings. "
A similar definition is offered by the Ministry of Culture in the Cultural Policy Guidelines
(2013-2016) in which cultural policy is defined as "a set of guidelines, regulations and
projects that are intended to democratize the production, circulation and consumption of
cultural objects and services. "
Also, this plan considers seven working guidelines that are to guide the efforts of the
Ministry until 2016 and includes: 1. Promoting an intercultural perspective; 2. Promoting
citizenship; 3. Strengthening the institutional framework; 4. Encouraging cultural creation;

51

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

5. Defending and social appropriation of heritage; 6. Supporting cultural industries; 7.
Promoting and disseminating the arts.
The plan from the Peruvian Ministry of Culture is the cornerstone of cultural policy
inward, i.e. the work to be performed with and for the Peruvian population, even though
it directly affects the planning of foreign policy in the cultural field.
Although the work plan is an important effort, the feeling that leaves Peruvian cultural
policy is bittersweet. On one hand, it is positive that such significant issues as
multiculturalism or the encouragement of cultural creation and the promotion of laws
that help drive the national cinema, creating cultural spaces throughout the territory, are
being contemplated.
On the other hand, it exposes the many flaws of tPeruvian State in the cultural sector
management because as noted by the coordinator of the Cultural Center Inca Garcilaso,
Katty Durand, "the State doesn’t have the capacity of human and financial resources to
meet all these needs." (2013)
It is true that the State barely cope with the greatest need to take the lead and support
initiatives driven by dozens of small cultural and artistic groups that exist in Peru. But it is
not alone in this fight since there are many other players that also have a key role in the
implementation of cultural policy. "The very model of the second half of the twentieth
century, that insisted on positioning the State as the primary agent to lead the cultural
policy is now exhausted by the emergence of other actors, with their own logic and
interests that contribute decisively to the construction of new cultural norms and the
actual management of the symbolic." (Ministry of Culture, 2013)
Countries like Korea and Japan are aware of the role of the private sector and the
independent, which, far from keep them away, are incorporated into the work plan to
supply not only content and ideas but also with their participation as representatives of
the country. And actually Peru has also taken advantage of, to a lesser extent, their stars
as it did in Marca Perú (Peru Brand) campaign. However, in terms of cultural policy
outwardly we are still far behind from what was expected.
In 2003 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented the Plan of Cultural Policy Abroad Peru,
in force currently. This plan is based on the objectives of cultural policy for outside Peru
which are: 1. Promote figures and major works of Peruvian culture; 2. Enriching the
cultural process of Peru through international exchanges and training; 3. Protect and
promote the cultural heritage of Peru, and privileging cultural relations with countries
depositories of cultural and natural heritage; 4. Increase the presence of Peru in academia
abroad; 5. Encourage the development of national cultural industries promoting them
abroad; and 6. Promote the strengthening of the cultural values of the Andean
populations and Amazonian communities.

52

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

This plan for the outer covers six major areas based on which specific work policies are
being developed: 1. Cultural and educational relations; 2. Patrimonial protection; 3.
Scientific promotion; 4. Cultural Promotion; 5. Educational Promotion; and 6.
Communication.
On the other hand and complimenting the plan, there’s within the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs the General Direction for Cultural Affairs, composed of four directions: 1. Cultural
Policy; 2. Cultural Promotion; 3. Cultural Heritage; and 4. Education and Sport Relations. It
also includes the Cultural Center Inca Garcilaso that, as explained by the third secretary of
the General Direction for Cultural Affairs, Patricia Diaz Cano, "the cultural center is the
cornerstone of our policy of promotion." (2013)
It is in the cultural center where technicians and specialists determine which cultural
products meet the aesthetic and quality requirements for being presented abroad. Also,
the center serves as the starting point of the displays and exhibits that are then carried to
other countries.
Just as Japan has in our country the Peruvian-Japanese Cultural Center or the USA has the
North American Peruvian Cultural Institute (ICPNA in Spanish), Peru is planning to open
Inca Garcilaso cultural centers in other countries, mainly focusing on the region, especially
in Chile, due to the major commercial relations we have with that country and the large
Peruvian colony there.
Judging from the above, the management of Peru's cultural policy abroad seems to be on
track, except for the fact of being based on a plan that has not been updated in the last 11
years. In all that time the Peruvian cultural industries have changed dramatically in quality
and quantity of production, artists and cultural producers have increased considerably,
the means of production have improved thanks to technological advances, the
independent circuits have gained prominence, and the whole world (or at least the most
progressive sector) has opened to cultural exchange. To this we must add the fact that we
have very limited budgets and lack of qualified personnel to perform the scheduled tasks.
On both issues, the most developed countries take us a big advantage.
So, is Peru's cultural policy really working abroad? What kind of approach should we give
it? It is true that for the State and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs culture must be
considered from a political perspective, yet it cannot be limited only to its usefulness to
achieve a privileged position on the international scene. This does not mean that culture
and politics can or should be separated. On the contrary, culture is politics from the
moment it is conceived within society. Likewise, politics influence directly the life of the
society that creates culture.
Although there is a strong link between culture and politics, state actors do not seem to
recognize the importance of culture in a country’s life. "The cultural is taking more interest

53

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

issue within the chancery and the embassy but it is a very slow process," says Katty
Durand.
In a context of South American regional integration as we are living in, where
organizations such as the Pacific Alliance or UNASUR are gaining important not only
economically but politically, the culture can be an excellent catalyst for this process.
If anything South American countries have in common is their history. Despite the
multiculturalism that we can find in the region, the sense of belonging to a large Hispanic
community, with very similar cultural features is what we’d do well emphasizing to
promote integration at a population level. Some experts talk about the need for historical
revisionism to heal old wounds between South American countries, but more than that is
needed to realize the fact that our similarities far outweigh our differences.
4. POP DIPLOMACY IN PERU: Is it possible?

Could a strategy as the one used in Japan or Korea work for the Peruvian foreign policy?
While Japan has the third largest economy in the world and Korea the world’s technology
capital (Seoul), Peru is far from consolidating its miraculous economic growth that helped
it survive the crash of 2008, and it’s slowing down. With this marked difference Peru is
perhaps not ready for the challenge.
For Patricia Díaz Cano, the main difference is that "Korea is a relatively new State and its
being created from scratch. While in the case of Japan it is an ancient culture, and is only
one." Peru, being a multicultural country, has a wide variety of cultural events grounded in
time.
Being the owners of great civilizations, including one of the oldest in human history (Caral)
and having sheltered immigrants from Europe, Asia and Africa, the cultural heritage of our
country is perhaps too broad and complex to adapt the Japanese or Korean model.
That same multiculturalism becomes a comparative advantage that our country has in
order to distinguish itself from many others, and is not only a major tourist and scientific
attraction but also a very effective marketing tool. "The prestige of Peru in the world lies
in its culture," says Díaz Cano, "we want the world to know it as the whole, as the great
diversity that it has."
In fact, for many Peru, as a product, cannot and should not be marketed in the same way
as other countries for their particular qualities usually associated with the idea of
mysticism that foreign audiences have on our cultural heritage. In this regard, Díaz Cano,
paraphrasing the famous Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio, believes that "Peru is not a mass

54

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

product, is for a specialized niche. It is so rich that turning it into a generic would be
losing.”
Although the idea of an almost exclusive segmented product is very attractive, cultural
industries in Peru also play a role in how the world sees us. While some do not even dare
to talk about a film industry as such in the country, in recent years it has produced more
films and won more awards than in the previous two decades. Not to mention the
unprecedented success of made in Peru films like Asu mare, which raised more than $3
million, becoming the highest grossing film in the history of Peruvian cinema.
In fact the manifestations of our Pop Culture such as music and movies are slowly stepping
away from localism to gain formal and substantive characteristics in order to turn them
into more accessible to a global audience. Yet, this is a long winded process that may take
several decades.
What we must now ask ourselves is: does Peru have any kind of cultural event that has a
potential similar to that of Japanese animation or Korean pop music for us to promote
around the world? Although films and music are starting to cross borders with good
results, it seems that we do not have a massive product powerful enough. Or is it?
Perhaps the most important manifestation of the Peruvian Popular Culture is gastronomy.
Elected for two consecutive years as the best foodie destination by the World Travel
Awards, Peru has in its food a marketing tool as powerful as the music or animation but at
a great disadvantage. We can download a song on MP3 no matter where we are in the
world (as long as we have an Internet connection), but we surely won’t be able to taste
food through the Internet.
For the public to have access to Peruvian food requires more of an investment than
animation or music, which can be downloaded (often illegally) for free online. Also, having
no Peruvian restaurants in every corner of every neighborhood in every country in the
world, gastronomy becomes accessible only to those who can afford it. Another important
difference is that the food cannot be pirated. It comes down to the fact of knowing the
recipe and having the right ingredients.
In any case, what we did achieved through both Internet and traditional media is letting
the world know that Peruvian food is considered among the best. A big buzz is generated
but still we are not able to meet a demand of that level.
With some limitations, Peruvian food has become the star of our Popular Culture.
Promoted through food festivals in Peru and around the globe, is one of the biggest
tourist attractions that we currently have (next to Machu Picchu). Even so, due to its
nature, food doesn’t have the same scope as cultural industries.

55

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

Music, films and fashion are as important as raw materials, and can generate very
significant economic benefits for a country, especially one as dangerously dependent on
mining exports as Peru, which urgently needs to diversify its source of earning. To do this
we must be aware of the value of culture as a tradable good, as an investment that not
only generates economic but also social growth.
Developed countries like France have very clear the role of culture in the economy and
society. Therefore they spend 1% of its state budget for culture, provide credit through
local institutions and encourage private sponsorship. Indeed, such is the impact of cultural
and creative industries in this country that, in 2001, generated a direct business volume of
more than $84 billion and employed 1.2 million people.
For Peru, the first step should be to establish how much income culture generates in the
country and then start promoting national culture industry through a legal framework to
facilitate both the production and dissemination. Protect domestic industry and support
its dissemination both internally and externally will allow, in the long run, to have cultural
events with global reach that can be exploited for the benefit of both our national
interests and improving our relationship with first, the rest of the region, and then the rest
of the world, but most importantly, with its population.
It is likely that in the process of standardization of products and cultural events many of
the traits of Peruvian cultures (in plural because there are several, not just one) are lost.
But, as has happened throughout history when two civilizations collided, what comes out
of that meeting will, in essence, contain cultural features from both sides.
The Nobel Prize in Literature Mario Vargas Llosa has a very realistic view about it. Believes
that "multiculturalism comes from a false assumption: that a culture, simply because it
exists, is valuable and respectable." (quoted by Barriga, 2012) For the writer, the less
evolved cultures should be displaced by those more advanced. The problem would be
then deciding which culture is more evolved and how could we determine it. What we
must be clear on is that human rights, individual freedoms and democracy must be above
the culture itself.
Peru, being a country still developing, may not have much to say in that contest to prevail
culturally. But it can introduce some cultural products within this great hypercentral
culture in formation. If so, our culture will survive inside another.
5. POP DIPLOMACY FOR A GLOBAL SOCIETY
Humanity is on the way to a global society with a standardized global culture, with an official
language or languages, where culture won’t be limited to a geographical area in which the

56

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

individual develops but to the technological capacity that it may count on and its degree
interconnectivity. We can say that we are heading to a Third Culture.

The term Third Culture refers to a new cultural system that is neither self nor the foreign
but both at the same time. This new scheme proposes the construction of an organized
set of signs and cultural expressions that covers as many cultural traits as possible to
ensure the social inclusion and plurality that characterizes the whole human race. That is,
the Third Culture is located, explains the philosopher Ricardo Salas Astraín, "between the
homogeneity of globalization and the heterogeneity of the cultures of each country." The
Internet culture fulfills the role of this intermediate state between the national and the
global, as explained.
But the reality is way more complex than these theoretical assumptions, even if they are
based on facts. There are many determinants in the life of the states that end up
outgrowing the culture in the State priorities, such as politics, economy and defense. To
think of a global culture is also to think about the effects that the influence of the power
blocs in the world, economic globalization, the relevance of international organizations,
social conflicts, technological and market trends can have on it.
However, although the Internet is a space (relatively) democratic and allows users to
express themselves (for better or worse), it is not entirely free. Currently both large
corporations (Facebook or Google, for example) and government agencies from world
powers (the NSA, in the case of the USA) have not only access to all information available
on the net, but can also limit it or, in the worst case scenario, censure it. Therefore, they
would also be in a position to influence the culture that is brewing there.
It is true that global culture is inseparable from the idea of power and the economic
necessities from the world powers, public or private, to spread and even impose their own
culture to the subordinate members of the international community. The problem is that
culture loses its democratic character and becomes another tool in the political game.
How could the Third Culture become a viable alternative?
For many sociologists and anthropologists, the idea of a standard culture for everyone
may sound like a terrible nightmare and they wouldn’t be wrong. The greatest heritage of
mankind is its immense cultural diversity, covering all ideas and forms of expression ever
conceived. But in a context of domination, where the strongest prevails, many of those
less privileged cultures tend to disappear over time.
Given the conditions, this process is inevitable. Still a Third Culture could mean a way of
extending these cultures at a disadvantage. History has shown it is possible that despite
the domination of one culture over another, the one at disadvantage can survive the
strongest by becoming a part of it. Peru is a clear example of this.

57

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

After the Spanish conquest of America in the XV century, the Catholic Church embarked
on a mission of evangelization that led to deal with the indigenous religions that existed in
central and southern part of the continent to the point of their near extinction. However,
several centuries later, although much of Latin America has adopted Catholicism as the
official religion, we can find a strong influence of the pagan religions from indigenous
peoples (various saints and rituals of the church in Latin America are the product of that
forced marriage). Experts refer this phenomenon as a syncretic religion.
From the point of view of the Cosmopolitan Constructivism, the formation of a new global
culture may well help to make great strides on the establishment of a collective
consciousness and identity, and generate an atmosphere of peace and goodwill within the
international community; through handling of foreign policy to respect and protect
cultural diversity, even though this may sound contradictory.
It’s ironic then, that this process of rapid integration we face, which involves a series of
abrupt changes, results on the fact that societies naturally tend to turn inwards. Now
more than ever is evident the nationalism in these countries due to frequent political and
cultural collisions between them. In this draft of an international society, Cultural
Diplomacy plays a decisive role:
"Cosmopolitan Constructivism can be defined as the recognition that the
construction of a peaceful community of states matters as the highest goal for
diplomacy, and that governments must make use of the cultural and public
diplomacies as mechanisms to collaborate in the common understanding their own
cultures, diversities and differences." (Villanueva Rivas, 2010)
The problem arises when diplomacy, whatever the context in which it develops, loses its
representative character and become an appendage of the government, subject to
policies that their initial goal away: "Once diplomacy is seen again in terms of
representation rather than an instrument of substantive foreign policy, it is then possible
to see how to express the human condition that precedes and transcends the experience
of living in the sovereign, territorial states of the past few hundred years." (Sharp, 1999)
Diplomatic efforts as mediator of culture at a State level can largely determine if the
process of formal integration of the countries within the international community goes
forward or backwards. As explained by the director of the School of Political Science at the
University of Minnesota Duluth, Paul Sharp, "the diplomats seek not only to represent
their states in the world, but also seek to represent the world back in their respective
states, with the aim to keep the whole assembly together." (1999)
The aim, when it comes to Diplomacy, must include not only the need but the value of
establishing bonds of friendship between countries. We can think of allies, but friendship
can have better and more profitable results, "Multilateral diplomacy, collective security

58

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

"one for all, all for one" reciprocity, cooperation and open, transparent political systems,
help develop other and myself as friends." (Villanueva Rivas, 2010)
When it comes to the population, progress in building an international society based on a
global culture is not subject to political decisions because people seem to move at their
own pace and on their own terms. British writer John Tomlinson (2002) found that
cosmopolitans should have a strong sense of belonging to the world and its agenda, which
is related to global issues such as the struggle for human rights, environmental protection
and economic and cultural integration, should also be linked to the development of
friendly relations between peoples and states in the context of a challenging global
culture.
These friendly relations within the vast internet community develop individually (one
person at a time) and collectively (fan clubs, online gaming communities, discussion
forums, etc.). However, we should not assume that is peace all and love on the Internet.
On the contrary, the increase in social networking activities has highlighted the main
weaknesses of the netizens 17, which sometimes surprise the world with their intolerance
and their outrageous comments. How could we concrete the Third Culture project?
The conflicts on the Internet are nothing more than the projection of what happens in our
society. For example, a person showing racist tendencies in its social networks already had
this predisposition before using the Internet. This simply magnifies what already existed.
Still, we must rescue those spaces where there are other significant developments in the
formation of a global society, and they revolve around Pop Culture.
If you wonder: why are we so far from the Third Culture? Some will say it is in the making,
others that it already exists but is constantly reconfiguring itself. Whether is one or the
other, we can find it on the Internet as that new Cosmopolitan Pop Culture we talked
about earlier.
This new inclusive culture reflects the principle of modernity that the sociologist Michel
Freitag defined as a set of material historical conditions which suggest that the joint
emancipation from traditions, doctrines or ideologies inherited, not problematized by a
traditional culture. (2008)
Cosmopolitan Pop Culture is an example of modernity in an interconnected and
interdependent world where the individual does not respond only to a system of values
and beliefs gestated by the surrounding society. Yet it has managed to transcend the
physical and cultural space to rebuild its identity and project it onto a global reality.

17

The term netizens comes from the words internet and citizens and makes reference to the person actively
involved in online communities or is an Internet user.

59

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

Understanding the phenomenon of Cosmopolitan Pop Culture is not, as some might
consider, frivolous. On the contrary, it is the nearest and most accessible way of
understanding how modern society works. In order to understand social events is
essential to understand the world of life and this new culture is part of that world. Not
only that, but also reflects it and transforms it.
The fact that this phenomenon arises within Internet is critical to the success of the
project since the nature of the medium allows for horizontal dialogue between users. That
is the basic principle of a dialogic society. Both states and social sciences Scientifics must
identify which factors encourage these practices and which factors impair them.
We now know that the Pop Culture encourages intercultural dialogue effectively. But the
goal is not only to encourage dialogue, but to articulate a space that allows laying the
democratic foundations of the Global Society.
Even if there is a risk of losing certain features of our own culture in the intercultural
dialogue, in the long run that loss becomes a gain since we will have learned something
new from others: "The third culture can mean the loss of our own but also the extension
of the other in a context of reciprocity ". (Patel, Li and Sooknanan, 2011)
Being an anime or a Kpop fan could mean facing a number of prejudices, from being seen
as a social misfit to being labeled as alienated, especially in this part of the world, so
conservative, so abandoned. But when states fail to try to establish an atmosphere of
peace in an increasingly interdependent society are the simple things in life, like our
hobbies, that kindle a light of hope, a place where, regardless of race, gender or country
of origin, humans can understand each other.

60

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

CAP V
Conclusions
Talking about Pop Culture refers to a series of social, economic and even political issues
that are rarely taken into account by minimizing the true scope of the topic. The research
undertaken provides a different perspective on this phenomenon and its potential. To
draw conclusions is necessary to revisit the objectives that guided the study.
At the beginning of this investigation the main goal was determine the importance of Pop
Culture for the formation of a global society. This strategy, which surely would have great
value if it is raised as such, requires an analysis from different perspectives.
First, the term Popular Culture does not yet have a precise definition. As a dimension of
human reality, any attempt to classify it is useless. Paradoxically, there seem to be a
general consensus on what it represents. It’s necessary to be clear that Popular Culture
and Pop Culture are similar but different terms.
Due to the intense process of globalization and technological advances in communications
and interconnectivity, Pop Culture has acquired a new dimensionality including variables
such as Cosmopolitanism and the online community.
Thanks to the almost unlimited access granted by Internet to its users, the identity of
these as individuals is not only defined by the family, social, historical and religious
context in which it grow, but also by the possibility to have access to the Internet, allowing
it to have contact with a wide range of manifestations and forms of expression from
around the world.
It is as if for a long period of our lives we were almost forced to take a strict diet and all of
a sudden we had a feast in front of with all kinds of dishes. The individual will have the
option to choose what it likes best, or in terms of identity, what defines it best. That's Pop
Cosmopolitanism.
Internet is also supporting a new community of users around the world, with very
different backgrounds but common preferences, like Kpop or anime. This new online
community is instituted, first, as the new global society; second, it builds and plays a new
standardized Pop Culture, accessible to any user online.

61

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

This new Cosmopolitan Pop Culture built in Internet can be considered as what sociologists
call the Third Culture, a great inclusive culture that combines the qualities of every other
culture in the world.
It is important to note that culture is learned and is constantly evolving. While it is true
that not all cultures have the opportunity to contribute to the process of formation of this
hypercentral culture is not exclusive from Internet. The Third Culture breaks out from the
digital world into the real one and those constant interactions and feedback will ultimately
define it as global.
Second, Pop Culture is a powerful tool and that is known by the private sector that
controls the cultural industry, but is also known by the State, or at least they’re trying to
keep up with it. The cases of Japan and Korea are the most representative: both feature a
Pop Culture of global relevance and try to capitalize on its popularity to boost their images
inside the international community.
The problem of these countries (and all the rest) is that do not quite recognize the
potential of their Pop Culture in all its magnitude, nor its Cultural Diplomacy. This is due
largely to the results of cultural policies only being seen in the long term as well as being
difficult to measure. By thinking culture as an expense rather than an investment, many
states prefer not to consider it as one of its priorities.
The proposal is to redirect the efforts of Cultural Diplomacy toward the use of Pop Culture
in all its dimensions, not only as an instrument, but as a basis for the construction of a new
form of relationship between countries.
Historically, Pop Culture has been the product of interactions between popular artists, the
audience and the cultural industry. The State comes after to take or set the rules in the
market but its capacity will always be overwhelmed by the culture itself, which cannot and
should not be controled.
Third, international relations are very complex. They can be influenced by many factors,
especially human. Plans and projections are difficult to sustain. The importance of Pop
Culture lies in its ability to integrate peoples from the international community regardless
of the situation within it. People are interacting with each other and new generations are
leaving aside the old ideas of their predecessors to open their minds to a world of
possibilities.
The Global Society is appearing as part of a natural process in which states could
participate by strengthening ties of friendship and cooperation, but not trying to take
advantage of its cultural relevance to expand its domain.
The old nationalism no longer works. Being isolated is impractical. The survival of a State
or a community of states will be determined by their ability to integrate themselves with

62

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

the rest of the globe. Of course, there’s no guarantee that this integration process is
equitable. In the struggle to impose to one another the strongest or the most popular will
win.
Fourth, in theories of International Relations, Cosmopolitan Constructivism has the most
humanistic vision which suits the best to these modern times we are living in. In the life of
the international community, people and ideas should be taken into account. We can no
longer conceive a State as an alienated entity above society, but as a representative
structure of a human group.
In the past, political and social conflicts, economic crises and cultural and military clashes
seemed to burn all bridges between the countries in the international community. Little
the bulk of the population understood. It was more a matter of State. It always that way.
But when a song came on the radio or it was time for the cartoons on television, none of
that mattered.
In those moments when you find out that there is someone on the other side of the world
that can barely communicate with you but hears the same music that you do or watches
the same series, is when you regain faith and believe again that one day we can all
understand each other.

63

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

Bibliography

A New Look at Cultural Diplomacy: a Call to Japan’s Cultural Practitioners. Speech by Minister for
Foreign Affairs Taro Aso at Digital Hollywood University. Taro Aso [On-line] Minister of Foreign
Affairs of Japan, April 28, 2006.
Available on: http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/fm/aso/speech0604-2.html
ADORNO, T.W. On Popular Music. [On-line]
Available on:
http://audio.uni-lueneburg.de/seminarwebseiten/adorno/material/On%20Popular%20Music.pdf
American Marketing Association, <http://www.marketingpower.com/>
Animes transmitidos en el Perú [On-line]
Available on: http://vicio2b.jimdo.com/art%C3%ADculos/animes-transmitidos-en-per%C3%BA/
ARNOLD, Wayne. Beyond ‘Gangnam Style’: Why Korea is a Pop Culture and Products Powerhouse
[On-line] AdAge.com, November 28, 2012.
Available on: http://adage.com/article/global-news/gangnam-style-korea-a-pop-culture-productspowerhouse/238522/
BARRIGA, Tomás Carlos. La Interculturalidad está de Moda (reload) [On-line] Lamula.pe, Las
Crónicas de Uqbar, May 08, 2012.
Available on:
http://lamula.pe/2012/05/08/la-interculturalidad-esta-de-moda-reload/tomascarlosbarriga/
BENAVIDES, Luis G. Interculturalidad, Globalización: Relación Lengua, Cultura e Identidades. [Online] Sabersinfin.com, December 01, 2005.
Available on: http://www.sabersinfin.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=61
BRENNER, Robert E. Understanding Manga y Anime. 1st ed. Westport, USA : Libraries Unlimited,
2007. 106 p.
ISBN: 978-1-59158-332-5
BENNETT, Tony. Popular Culture: A Teaching Object. Screen Education 34, 1980.
BENNETT, Tony. The Politics of the ‘Popular’ and Popular Culture. Popular Culture and Social
Relations. Philadelphia, USA : Open University Press, 1986.
BIALAKOWSKY, Alejandro. Comunidad y sentido en la teoría sociológica contemporánea: las
propuestas de A. Giddens y J. Habermas. Papeles del CEIC [On-line] March, 2010, no.53
Available on: http://www.identidadcolectiva.es/pdf/53.pdf
ISSN: 1695-6494
BUCKLE, Anne. The New Diplomacy: Devising a Relational Model of Public Diplomacy. Thesis.
Tenesse, USA : The University of Tenesse, August 10, 2011. 88p.

64

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

Available on:
http://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2484&context=utk_chanhonoproj
CABALZA, Chester B. Is [South] Korea Open for Soft Power Diplomacy? [On-line] Executive Policy
Brief. Vol.1 No13, February, 2011.
Available on:
http://www.academia.edu/561078/Is_South_Korea_Open_for_Soft_Power_Diplomacy
CHENG, Li-Chih. SAIS U.S.-Korea Yearbook 2008 [On-line] Johns Hopkins University, 2009.
Available on: http://uskoreainstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Cheng.pdf
CALVET, Louis-Jean. Identidades y Plurilingüismo. [On-line]
Available on: http://www.campus-oei.org/tres_espacios/icoloquio9.htm
CALVET, Louis-Jean. La diversidad lingüística: ¿Cuáles son los desafíos para la francofonía? [Online] París, France : Hermes, nº40, 2004.
Available on: http://ressources-cla.univ-fcomte.fr/gerflint/Chili4/08calvet.pdf
Cultural Diplomacy: An Art We Neglect [On-line] Misgee, Public and Cultural Diplomacy 4. March
29, 2012.
Available on: http://publicandculturaldiplomacy4.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/cultural-diplomacyan-art-we-neglect/
COHEN, Robin; VERTOVEC, Steven. Conceiving Cosmopolitanism: theory, context and practice.
Chapter One: Introduction: concieving cosmopolitanism [On-line] Oxfor University Press, 2002.
Available on:
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/sociology/staff/emeritus/cohenr/research/papers/cosmopoli
tan2.pdf
Cosmopolitismo [On-line] Instituto de Derechos Humanos Bartolomé de las Casas, 2010.
Available on: http://www.tiempodelosderechos.es/docs/nov11/cosmopolitismo.pdf
CRAIG, Timothy J. Japan Pop!: Inside the World of Japanese Popular Culture. 1st ed. New York,
USA : M.E. Sharpe, 2000. 348p.
ISBN: 978-07-656-0560-3
CROSSMAN, Ashley. Popular Culture [On-line] Sociology.about.com
Available on: http://sociology.about.com/od/P_Index/g/Popular-Culture.htm
¿Cuánto recaudó Dragon Ball Z: La Batalla de los Dioses? [On-line] Diario Altavoz, November 25,
2013.
Available
on:
http://altavoz.pe/2013/11/25/espectaculos/entretenimiento/cuanto-recaudodragon-ball-z-la-batalla-de-los-dioses/
Cultural Diplomacy, How it Operates Today? [On-line video] The Center for Cultural Diplomacy
Studies (05:53) : sound, col.
Available on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9Dwpyagfas

65

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

DAVALOVSZKY, Csilla. La diplomacia pop: una mirada a la diplomacia cultural japonesa. [On-line]
Madrid, Spain : Real Instituto Alcano, June 01, 2009.
Available on: http://www.interarts.net/descargas/interarts675.pdf
DEUTSCHER, Guy. Does Your Language Shape How You Think? [On-line] Newyorktimes.com,
August 26, 2010.
Available on:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/magazine/29language-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&
Diseños de carácter cualitativo: Diseños de Teoría Fundamentada – Diseños de investigación –
Estudios de Caso [On-line] Universidad Nacional Abierta y a Distancia.
Available on:
http://datateca.unad.edu.co/contenidos/100104/100104_EXE/leccin_24_diseos_de_carcter_cuali
tativo_diseos_de_teora_fundamentada__diseos_de_investigacin_accin___estudios_de_caso.html
DO, Thao Emilie. Emergence of the Korean popular culture in the world. Thesis (Bachelor of
International Bussiness). Turku, Finland : Turku University of Applied Sciences, Degree Programme
of International Bussiness. May, 2011. 61p.
EINBINDER, Mary. Cultural Diplomacy Harmonizing International Relations through Music. Thesis
(Master in Arts). New York, USA : New York University, Gallatin School of Individualized Studies,
May,how to put the da 2013. 72p
El 2012 para los conciertos en Lima: un año de grandes pérdidas y sorpresas. [On-line] Lima, Peru :
Diario El Comercio, December 28, 2012.
Available on:
http://elcomercio.pe/espectaculos/1515557/noticia-2012-conciertos-lima-ano-grandes-perdidassorpresas
El mercado musical de Japón fue el más grande del mundo en 2012. [On-line] Tokio, Japan :
International Press Digital, April 10, 2013.
Available on: http://espanol.ipcdigital.com/2013/04/10/el-mercado-musical-de-japon-fue-el-masgrande-del-mundo-en-2012/
En Francia la cultura genera más dinero que los automóviles o el lujo. [On-line] Spain : Industrial
Musical, November 11, 2013.
Available on:
http://industriamusical.es/en-francia-la-cultura-genera-mas-dinero-que-los-automoviles-o-el-lujo/
Estudio: Diplomacia Cultural. [On-line] Observatorio Vasco de la Cultura.
Available on:
http://www.kultura.ejgv.euskadi.net/r4619803/es/contenidos/informacion/keb_publicaciones_otros_inform/es_publicac/adjuntos/diplom
acia_cultural.pdf
FAN, Ying. Branding the nation: What is being branded? [On-line] Brunel Business School, Brunel
University, United Kingdom, 2005.
Available on: https://www.academia.edu/5185448/Branding_the_nation_what_is_being_branded

66

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

FLECHA, Ramón; GÓMEZ, Jesús; PUIGVERT, Lidia. Teoría sociológica contemporánea. 4th ed.
Madrid, Spain : Ediciones Paidós Ibérica, 2010. 159p.
ISBN: 978-84-493-1113-0
FREITAG, Michel. L’impasse de la globalisation: une historie sociologique et philosophique du
capitalisme. Montreal, Canada : Éditions Écosocieté, 2008, 415p.
ISBN: 978-29-2316-541-7
Frost Bite: The Definition of Anime [On-line video] GRArkada, Canada : GlassReflection.com, July
25, 2013. 1 video clip (10:00) : sound., col.
Available on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p51neLsWE-4
GARCÍA CANCLINI, Néstor. Culturas Híbridas. Last ed. : Editorial Grijalbo, 2012.365p
ISBN: 978-60-7429-615-0
G.MORRA, Linda; FRIEDLANDER, Amy C. Evaluaciones mediante Estudios de Caso. [On-line]
Washington DC, USA : Operations Evaluation Department of the World Bank (OED), January, 2001.
Available on:
http://www.sisman.utm.edu.ec/libros/FACULTAD%20DE%20CIENCIAS%20HUMAN%C3%8DSTICAS
%20Y%20SOCIALES/CARRERA%20DE%20TRABAJO%20SOCIAL/08/estudio%20de%20casos%20libro
s/Evaluaciones%20mediante%20Estudios%20de%20Caso.pdf
GRINBREG, Miguel. EDGAR MORIN y el Pensamiento Complejo. [On-line] Buenos Aires, Argentina :
Pensamientocomplejo.com.ar
Available on:
http://www.buap.mx/portal_pprd/work/sites/Direccion_de_Difusion_Cultural/resources/PDFCont
ent/613/Complementario%201-Pensamiento%20complejo.pdf
HARDACRE, Helen; BESTOR, Theodore. Contemporary Japan: Popular Culture. [On-line] Asian
Topics, Columbia University. 2002
Available on: http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/at/contemp_japan/cjp_pop_04.html
HARGRAVES. David J., MIELL, Raymond, MacDONALD, A.R. Identity in Music. What are musical
identities, and why are they important? [On-line] Social Psychology of Music : April 14, 2010.
Available on: http://musicalsocialpsych.blogspot.com/2010/04/identity-in-music.html
Henry Jenkins On Pop Cosmopolitanism [On-line] Forbes, October 19, 2005.
Available on: http://www.forbes.com/2005/10/19/cx_audio_comm05_henryjenkinspop.html
HOWARD, Keith. Korean Pop Music: Riding The Wave. 1st ed. : Global Oriental, 2006. 250p
ISBN: 978-19-0524-622-9
Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, < http://www.culturaldiplomacy.org/index.php?en>
JENKINS, Henry. Convergen Culture: La cultura de la convergencia de los medios de comunicación.
2nd ed. Nueva York, EEUU : New York Univerity Press, 2008, 301p.
ISBN: 978-84-493-2153-5

67

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

JENKINS, Henry. Pop Cosmopolitanism: Mapping Cultural Flows in an Age of Media Convergence.
Fans, Bloggers and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture. [On-line] New York, USA : New York
Univerity Press, 2006.
Available on: http://med104exp.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/2-3jenkins.pdf
JACKSON, Robert; DORENSEN, Georg. Introduction to International Relations: Theories and
Approaches. 4th ed. Oxford, England : Oxford University Press, 2010, 368p.
ISBN: 978-01-995-4884-2
JulietteH. An answer to critics of online activism. [On-line] Greenpeace Internacional, October 01,
2010.
Available on: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/an-answerto-critics-of-online-activism/blog/26559/
KIM, Hwajung. The Importance of Nation Brand. [On-line] CulturalDiplomacy.org, November, 2012
Available on:
http://www.culturaldiplomacy.org/pdf/casestudies/Hwajung_Kim_The_Importance_of_Nation_Brand.pdf
KIM, Regina. South Korean Cultural Diplomacy and Efforts to Promote the ROK’s Bran Image in the
United States and Around the World. [On-line] Johns Hopkins School of Advance International
Studies, USA, 2011.
Available on: http://sjeaa.stanford.edu/journal111/Korea2.pdf
La piratería le aporta al consumo cultural. [On-line] Colombia : Extroversia, Universia Colombia,
May 06, 2013.
Available on:
http://extroversia.universia.net.co/dia-adia/2013/noticias/actualidad/la_pirateria_le_aporta_al_consumo_cultural/actualidad/16394/103/
104.html
LEONARD, Mark; STEAD, Catherine; Smewing, Conrad. Public Diplomacy. 1st ed. London, United
Kingdom : The Foreing Policy Center, 2002.
ISBN: 1-903558-131
LEUNG, Sarah. Catching the K-Pop Wave: Globality in the Production, Distribution, and
Consumption of South Korean Popular Music. [On-line]Senior Capstone Projects.
Available on:
http://digitalwindow.vassar.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1151&context=senior_capstone
Lineamientos de Política Cultural [On-line] Ministerio de Cultura, 2012.
Available on:
http://www.cultura.gob.pe/sites/default/files/pagbasica/tablaarchivos/11/lineamientomc.pdf
LOBETO, Claudio. Cultura Popular: hacia una redefinición. [On-line] Buenos Aires, Argentina :
Diccionario Crítico de Ciencias Sociales.
Available on:
http://pendientedemigracion.ucm.es/info/eurotheo/diccionario/C/cultura_popular.htm

68

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

Locas por el K-Pop. [On-line] Lima, Peru : Diario La República, 18 de noviembre 2012.
Available on: http://www.larepublica.pe/18-11-2012/locas-por-el-k-pop
LUCENA CID, Isabel Victoria. Los principios cosmopolitas y la justicia global. ISEGORÍA [On-line]
January-June 2011, no.44
ISSN: 1130-2097
MANFREDI, Juan Luis. Estrategia y diplomacia pública: el tiempo de la política. [On-line] Asociación
Comunicación Política, March 27, 2013.
Available on: http://compolitica.com/estrategia-y-diplomacia-publica-el-tiempo-de-la-politica/
MANION, Annie. Discovering Japan: Anime and Learning Japanese Culture. [On-line] South
California, USA : East Asian Studies Center, University of Southern California, 2006.
Available on: http://www.chanpon.org/archive/manionthesis.pdf
MARK, Simon. A Comparative Study of the Cultural Diplomacy of Canada, New Zealand and India.
Tesis (Doctor in Philosophy in Political Studies). Auckland, Australia : University of Auckland,
Doctoral Program in Policy Studies, 2008. 268p.
MARTÍN-BARBERO, Jesús. Jóvenes: comunicación e identidad. Pensar Iberoamérica [On-line] no.0
February, 2002.
Available on: http://www.oei.es/pensariberoamerica/ric00a03.htm
MONJI, Kenjiro. Pop Culture Diplomacy [On-line] Public Diplomacy Magazine, Winter 2010.
Available on: http://publicdiplomacymagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/All_Pages.pdf
MORÍN, Edgar. Introducción al Pensamiento Complejo. 2nd ed. Barcelona, Spain : Gedisa, 1994,
167p.
ISBN: 978-8-474325-18-8
MORÍN, Edgar. Introducción al Pensamiento Complejo. [On-line] PensamientoComplejo.com.ar
Available on: http://www.pensamientocomplejo.com.ar/docs/files/MorinEdgar_Introduccion-alpensamiento-complejo_Parte1.pdf
NIETO, Alfonso. La Diplomacia Pública: Los Medios Informativos y la Cultura como Instrumentos de
Política Exterior. Diplomacia, Paz y Desarrollo [On-line] Asociación de Diplomáticos Escritores,
nº20, November, 2006.
Available on: http://www.diplomaticosescritores.org/revistas/ade20.pdf
NORRIS, Michael J. Exploring Japanese Popular Culture as a Soft Power Resource [On-line] Student
Pulse, Vol.2, No.05, 2010.
Available on: http://www.studentpulse.com/articles/253/exploring-japanese-popular-culture-asa-soft-power-resource
ISSN: 2153-5760
OGOURA, Kazou. Japan’s Postwar Cultural Diplomacy. 1st ed. Berlín, Alemania : Center for Area
Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, nº1, 2008. 9p.

69

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

ISBN: 978-3-929619-53-9
OGOURA, Kazou. Japan’s Cultural Diplomacy, Past and Present. [On-line] Joint Research Institute
for International Peace and Culture, Aoyama Gakuin University.
Available on:
http://www.jripec.aoyama.ac.jp/english/publication/pdf/japans_cultural_diplomacy.pdf
Oxford English Dictionary, <http://www.oed.com/>
Oxford Dictionaries, <http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/>
PATEL, Fay; LI Mingsheng; SOOKNANAN, Prahalad. Intercultural Communication, Building a Global
Community. 1st ed. New Delhi, India : SAGE, 2011. 201p.
ISBN: 978-81-321-0634-0
PARKER, Holt N. Toward a Definition of Popular Culture. History and Theory [On-line] May, 2011,
no.50
ISSN: 0018-2656
PAUSELLI, Gino. Teorías de relaciones internacionales y la explicación de la ayuda externa. [Online] Revista Iberoamericana de Estudios de Desarrollo, 2013, Vol. 2, no.1
Available on:
http://www.academia.edu/1539014/Teorias_de_relaciones_internacionales_y_la_explicacion_de
_la_ayuda_externa
ISSN: 2254-2035
PÉREZ, Pepo. Cultura de Masas Vs. Cultura Popular. [On-line] Es Muy de Cómic. July 30, 2010.
Available on: http://pepoperez.blogspot.com/2010/07/cultura-de-masas-vs-cultura-popular.html
Perú elegido Mejor Destino Culinario del Mundo por segundo año consecutivo [On-line] Lima, Peru
: Peru.com, December 02, 2013.
Available on: http://peru.com/estilo-de-vida/gastronomia/peru-elegido-mejor-destino-culinariomundo-segundo-ano-consecutivo-noticia-212947
Plan de Desarrollo Cultural de Medellín 2011-2020 [On-line] Alcaldía de Medellín, May, 2011
Available on:
http://www.medellincultura.gov.co/plancultural/Documents/Plan_de_Desarrollo_Cultural_de_Me
dellin_2011-2020.pdf
Plan de Política Cultural del Perú en el Exterior. [On-line] Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores,
2003.
Available on: http://www.rree.gob.pe/politicaexterior/Documents/PlanPolCulExtFin.pdf
PRADHAN, Jinni. It’s My Passion, That’s My Mission To Decide, I’m Going Worldwide: The
Cosmopolitanism of Global Fans of Japanese Popular Culture. Tesis (Master in Arts).
Massachusetts, USA : University of Massachusetts, Graduate School, 2010, 129p.

70

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

QIN-HILLIARD, Desirée Baolian; SUÁREZ-OROZCO, Marcelo M. Globalization: Culture and education
in the new millennium. Los Angeles, USA : University of California Press, 2004, 290p.
ISBN: 978-0-520-93096-4
RYNIEJSKA - KIELDANOWICZ, Marta. Cultural Diplomacy as a Form of International
Communication. [On-line] Institute for Public Relations BledCom Special Prize.
Available on: http://www.interarts.net/descargas/interarts664.pdf
SALAS ASTRAÍN, Ricardo. Filosofía Intercultural, Globalización e Identidad. Reflexiones sobre el
desarrollo desde América Latina. [On-line] Université catholique de Louvain, uclouvain.be
Available on: http://www.uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/dvlp/documents/Salas.pdf
SAMOVAR, Larry A.; PORTER, Richard E. McDANIEL, Edwin R. Communication Between Cultures.
7th ed., Massachussetts, USA : CENGAGE Learning, 2010. 480p.
ISBN: 978-0-495-56744-8
SAMOVAR, Larry A.; PORTER, Richard E. McDANIEL, Edwin R. Intercultural Communication.
13th ed., Massachussetts, USA : CENGAGE Learning, 2010. 528p.
ISBN: 978-0-495-589831-3
SASSEN, Saskia. Territory, Authority, Rights: From medieval to Global Assamblages. 4th ed. New
Jersey, USA : Princenton University Press, 2008. 512p.
ISBN: 978-1-400-82859-3
SCHMIDT, Bettina E. Teorías culturales posmodenas de Latinoamérica (y su importancia para la
etnología). [On-line]
Available on:
http://www.iai.spkberlin.de/fileadmin/dokumentenbibliothek/Indiana/Indiana_19_20/02schmidt.pdf
SEIB, Philip. A Strategy for Cultural Diplomacy [On-line] The Huffington Post, May 01, 2012.
Available on: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/philip-seib/cultural-diplomacy_b_1184854.html
SHARP, Paul. For Diplomacy: Representation and the Study of International Relations.
International Studies Review [On-line] Vol. 1, nº1, 1999.
Available on: http://maihold.org/mediapool/113/1132142/data/Sharp.pdf
SLAUGHTER, Anne-Marie. International Relations, Principal Theories [On-line] Oxford University
Press, 2011.
Available on:
http://www.princeton.edu/~slaughtr/Articles/722_IntlRelPrincipalTheories_Slaughter_20110509z
G.pdf
SMITH, Christopher. Why is K-Pop so Popular? [On-line] Asiapundits.com, August 26, 2012.
Available on: http://www.asiapundits.com/regions/korea/why-is-k-pop-so-popular/
SNOW, Nacy; TAYLOR, Phiip M. Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy. 1st ed. New York, USA :
Routledge, 2008, 408p.

71

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

ISBN: 978-11-359-2689-2
SOLANA RUIZ, José Luis. Con Edgar Morin, por un pensamiento complejo. 1st ed. Andalucía, Spain :
Akal, 2005, 240p.
ISBN: 978-84-460-2393-7
STEVENS, Carolyn S. Japanese Popular Music. Culture, authenticity, and power. 1st ed. New York,
USA : Routledge, 2012. 218p.
ISBN: 978-113-417-951-0
STOREY, John. Inventing Popular Culture: From Folklore to Globalization. 2nd ed. Massachusetts,
USA : John Wiley & Sons, 2009, 168p.
ISBN: 0-631-23459-4
STOREY, John. Teoría Cultural y Cultura Popular. 3rd ed. Barcelona, Spain: Ediciones Octaedro,
2002, 318p.
ISBN: 84-8063567-3
TOMLINSON, John. Cultural Imperialism: A critical introduction. New York, USA : Continuum, 2002.
187p.
ISBN: 978-0-8264-5013-5
TORRES, Cecilia A. R. The Construction of Identity and Musical Identities. [On-line] Río Grande do
Sul, Brasil : UERGS.
Available on: http://www-usr.rider.edu/~vrme/v11n1/vision/Torres.Final.06.pdf
VANHOUDT, Bettie. La diversidad lingüística. En: DIVERSIDAD CULTURAL: El valor de la diferencia.
Negrón, Bárbara. 1era ed. Santiago, Chile : LOM, 2005, 233p.
ISBN: 978-956-282-795-9
VERTOVEC, Steven; COHEN, Robin. Conceiving cosmopolitanism: theory context and practice. 1st
ed. Oxford, England : Oxford University Press, 2002, 314p.
ISBN: 978-01-992-5228-2
VILLANUEVA RIVAS, César. Cosmopolitan Constructivism: Mapping a Road to the Future of Cultural
and Public Diplomacy. [On-line] Publicdiplomacymagazine.com, University of Southern California,
EEUU, January 13, 2010.
Available on:
http://publicdiplomacymagazine.com/cosmopolitan-constructivism-mapping-aroad-to-the-future-of-cultural-and-public-diplomacy/
WALLER, Michael J. Cultural Diplomacy, Political Influence, and Integrated Strategy. Strategic
Influence: Public Diplomacy, Counterpropaganda, and Political Warfare. Washington, USA : The
Institute of World Politics Press, 408p.
ISBN: 978-0-9792-2364-8
WANG, Qi. The Dilemma of Japan’s Cultural Diplomacy in China – A case stuty of Japanese Manga
and Anime [On-line] Center for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University, Semester 20052007.

72

Luis Antonio Vidal Pérez
POP POWER: Pop Diplomacy for a Global Society

Available on:
https://lup.lub.lu.se/luur/download?func=downloadFile&recordOId=1325086&fileOId=1325087
WATANABE, Hirotaka. Japan’s Cultural Diplomacy Future. [On-line] The Diplomat, April 20, 2012.
Available on:
http://thediplomat.com/sport-culture/2012/04/20/japans-cultural-diplomacyfuture/
What is Cultural Diplomacy? – A Definition by President Emil Constantinescu [On-line video] The
Center for Cultural Diplomacy Studies (00:38) : sound., col.
Available on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcgkSkp0naY
What Does Cultural Diplomacy Mean To You? [On-line] ICD Blogsphere Team, April 04, 2013.
Available on:
http://culturaldiplomacynews.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/what-does-culturaldiplomacy-means-for-you/
What is Cultural Diplomacy? - ¿Qué es la Diplomacia Cultural? [On-line] ICD Blogsphere Team,
April 25, 2013.
Available on:
http://culturaldiplomacyinlatinamerica.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/what-iscultural-diplomacy-que-es-la-diplomacia-cultural/
WILLIAMS, Raymond. Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. 2nd Ed. Oxford, England :
Oxford University Press, 1985, 349p.
ISBN: 978-019-520-469-8
WORRAWUTTEERAKUL, Nantaphorn y POTIPAN, Pavinee. A study of the Korean wave in order to
be a lesson to Thailand for establishing a Thai wave. Thesis (Master Degree of International
Marketing) Västeràs, Sweden : Malardalen University, 2011. 71p

73