Securitization of soft power in a highly securitized environment



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The subject of this master thesis is securitization of Russian soft power in Ukraine. Looking at the case of Ukraine through the lens of securitization theory, the work tries to answer the question whether securitization of Soft power is possible, and how it is done. The theory predicts that it is possible to perceive threat of the political and societal security and devise a solution to curb this threat, even using extraordinary measures outside the scope of normal politics. The specificity of Russian soft power is discussed. Based on this discussion I propose that Russian soft power can indeed be viewed as a threat and therefore securitized. Using the method of discursive analysis, I analyse the statements of politicians about the proposed laws, which are supposed to decrease the attractiveness of Russian soft power in Ukraine. Supportive documents, such as statements of the opposition politicians, international organizations and other figures, as well as public surveys help me ascertain whether the conditions for securitization were fulfilled. The observation shows that the securitizing actors, who then make the securitizing move, can perceive soft power as a threat. It happens only rarely, however, that all the conditions for a successful securitization are fulfilled. Therefore, I suggest observing and examining conditions for securitization separately.