Degree Level


First Advisor

James, Barclay

Second Advisor

Langston, Camille



LCSH subject

Soft power (Political Science); Rate of return; Emigration and immigration; Investments, Foreign


As the world has become more interconnected due to the rapid expansion of trade and communication technologies, countries have been able to create a reputation based on their image instead of their military power. This attraction or soft power, has become a topic of discussion as many scholars have tried to define soft power and the effects it has on the world. This research study focuses on how a country’s soft power affects the foreign direct investment projects it participates in based on the level of soft power its home country has over the host country. This study examines criteria for determining what constitutes soft power, such as the migration of people to a country, and then uses a database of foreign direct investment projects to examine how the soft power of a company’s home country compares to the host country’s affects project risk. Furthermore, the paper provides background on some characteristics of soft power in the countries of China and South Korea to provide background on the complexity of defining soft power. The examples of soft power described through the analysis of China and South Korea will also serve as a method of explaining the different ways in which soft power has been measured before and how the new measure differs. The purpose of this research is to investigate whether and how soft power affects foreign investment project risk. Furthermore, this paper also may provide companies with a new form of risk assessment that can be used when determining whether a country will be a good candidate for investment.
Keywords: Soft power, Investment risk, Migration, Foreign direct investment

Publication Date

Spring 2024

Document Type