Manipulating the Architecture of Cultural Control: A Conceptual Model for Strategic Influence Operations in North Korea

ABSTRACT

The deep structural and cultural changes taking place in North Korea provide an opportunity to conduct influence operations to shape that country’s culture and society, either to destabilize the government or to prepare the population for a regime change. This paper presents a conceptual model of how contradictions between top down, imposed culture and organic, indigenous culture can be exploited to destabilize the system, and eventually re-pattern the culture.  The process includes the following steps: identification of the cultural type; understanding relevant cultural forms; identification of vulnerable targets; evaluation of the information system; identification of effective elements of persuasion; mapping of the architecture of social control; and introduction of new “attractors” to damage or destroy the constituent cultural myths.


AUTHORS

Office of Naval Research, US Navy, Arlington, VA

Montgomery McFate is an anthropologist by training, and is interested in using qualitative social sciences to improve national security, particularly in the fields of combating terrorism and non-kinetic operations. Formerly a member of the Intelligence Policy Center at RAND, Dr. McFate is currently an American Association for the Advancement of Science Defense Policy Fellow at the Office of Naval Research (ONR). She holds a PhD in Anthropology from Yale University and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School.

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