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Soft Power, Sports Mega-Events and Emerging States: The Lure of the Politics of Attraction

Lee, Donna, Grix, Jonathan (2013) Soft Power, Sports Mega-Events and Emerging States: The Lure of the Politics of Attraction. Global Society, 27 (4). pp. 521-536. ISSN 1360-0826. (doi:10.1080/13600826.2013.827632) (KAR id:38103)


This article highlights and analyses a hitherto largely neglected dimension to the growing agency of large developing countries in global affairs – their hosting of international sports mega-events. Why are large developing countries hosting sports mega-events and what does this contemporary phenomenon tell us about the significance of, for example, the Olympics and World Cup in global affairs? We explore these questions through brief examination of the cases of the three most active sport mega-event hosting states in recent times; Brazil, China and South Africa. The 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and the up-coming

2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil provide interesting examples with which to explore developing country agency in the international system and in particular the discursive basis of that agency. We see the hosting of sports-mega events as the practice of public diplomacy by states to both demonstrate existing soft power capability as well as pursue its further enhancement.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/13600826.2013.827632
Uncontrolled keywords: soft power, mega-sports events, FIFA, IOC, World Cup, Olympics, Brazil, South Africa, China, public diplomacy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Donna Lee
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2014 17:02 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:14 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Lee, Donna.

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