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

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  • Loughborough University


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.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-479
Number of pages16
JournalGlobal Society
Issue number3
Early online date10 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • soft power and sport , sports mega-events

ASJC Scopus subject areas