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International Sport and Diplomacy's Public Dimension: Governments, Sporting Federations and the Global Audience

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International sporting competition has played a rĂ´le in diplomacy since at least the ancient Olympiad. Competitors in international sporting events have always possessed the capacity to represent their governments and peoples—and, more latterly, sponsoring firms—not only to foreign governments but also to foreign populations and the global public more broadly. The rapid increase in the number and variety of international sporting competitions over the past 50 years has seen “the increase in people-to-people exchanges, both virtual and personal, across national borders.” The communicative power of international sport has increased dramatically by the information and communications technologies revolution over the past several decades, enabling the audience for major sporting events to expand to hundreds of million people. Yet, little study on how international sport relates to public diplomacy has occurred and remains not well understood. This analysis fills in this lacuna.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 2, 2014

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