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Interrogating States’ Soft Power Strategies: A Case Study of Sports Mega-Events in Brazil and the UK

Grix, J and Brannagan, PM and Houlihan, B (2015) Interrogating States’ Soft Power Strategies: A Case Study of Sports Mega-Events in Brazil and the UK. Global Society, 29 (3). pp. 463-479. ISSN 1360-0826

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Abstract

© 2015 University of Kent. Central to this article is the use of sports mega-events as part of a state's “soft power” strategy. The article offers two things: first, a critique of the “soft power” concept and a clearer understanding of what it refers to by drawing on the political use of sports mega-events by states; second, the article seeks to understand how and why sports mega-events are attractive to states with different political systems and at different stages of economic development. To this end a case study of an advanced capitalist state (London Olympics, 2012) and a so-called “emerging” state (FIFA World Cup, 2014; Rio Olympics, 2016) will be undertaken in order to shed light on the role of sports events as part of soft power strategies across different categories of states.

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