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Of Mechanisms and Myths: Conceptualising States’ “Soft Power” Strategies through Sports Mega-Events

Grix, J and Brannagan, PM (2016) Of Mechanisms and Myths: Conceptualising States’ “Soft Power” Strategies through Sports Mega-Events. Diplomacy and Statecraft, 27 (2). pp. 251-272. ISSN 0959-2296

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Abstract

© 2016 Taylor & Francis. Joseph Nye’s concept of “soft power” has become an increasingly used term to help explain why states—including so-called “emerging states”—are paying greater attention to acquiring various forms of cultural and political attraction. However, within mainstream International Relations, Political Science, and Sport Studies literature, a continuous debate remains as to what actually constitutes soft power, how national leaders go about acquiring it, and how forms of attraction convert into power outcomes in both the short- and long-term. This analysis endeavours to overcome these issues by offering an “ideal type” model that details states’ soft power strategies, the mechanisms they use, and the tangible future outcomes they gain.

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