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    Understanding south korea’s use of sports mega-events for domestic, regional and international soft power

    Grix, J ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7315-1641, Jeong, JB and Kim, H (2021) Understanding south korea’s use of sports mega-events for domestic, regional and international soft power. Societies, 11 (4). ISSN 2075-4698

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    Abstract

    This paper seeks to contribute to the growing literature on ‘soft power’ by focusing on East Asia as a region gaining in political and economic significance; equally, we highlight the role sports mega-events play in the region’s most powerful states’ soft power strategies. For the purpose of this paper, we focus on South Korea’s soft power strategy and how the hosting of major sporting events has become a central part of this. We introduce both a novel tripartite approach to the study of the motives behind hosting sports mega-events, along with new, empirical data on the chosen case of South Korea. Our findings strengthen the notion that an explanation of why states seek to host major sports events can be better understood by considering the domestic, regional and international dimensions to capture the complexities behind such decisions.

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