The library as soft-power actor: A review


Bell, Emilia C. and Kennan, Mary Anne. 2022. "The library as soft-power actor: A review." IFLA Journal. 48 (4), pp. 706-716.
Article Title

The library as soft-power actor: A review

ERA Journal ID200616
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsBell, Emilia C. (Author) and Kennan, Mary Anne (Author)
Journal TitleIFLA Journal
Journal Citation48 (4), pp. 706-716
Number of Pages11
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Web Address (URL)

This narrative review pursues an understanding of the relationship of libraries to the concepts of soft power and public and cultural diplomacy. The cross-disciplinary nature of the study required that the search approach include literature from both the International Relations and Library and Information Science disciplines. The analysed literature reveals three key gaps. First, research explicitly addressing the topic of ‘libraries and soft power’ is scarce. Second, the little Library and Information Science literature that addresses libraries and soft power rarely considers contemporary discourse. Third, the literature often has an implicit liberal institutionalist perspective, overlooking negative or hegemonic aspects of soft power. Given that soft power is considered increasingly relevant for representing national interests, understanding libraries’ roles and impact in international relations is significant and warrants further research.

KeywordsInformation Science, International Relations, Literature, National Interest, Diplomacy
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440808. International relations
461006. Library studies
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File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsCharles Sturt University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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