The Politics Of Sports Mega Events In South Korea

A diachronic approach

Authored by: Jung Woo Lee

Routledge Handbook of Sport and Politics

Print publication date:  October  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138792548
eBook ISBN: 9781315761930
Adobe ISBN: 9781317646679

10.4324/9781315761930.ch38

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Abstract

Since the 1980s, South Korea has hosted a series of sports mega-events such as the Asian Games, the Olympics, and the FIFA World Cup Finals. While these are essentially sporting contests, the political implications that these sporting events had for the host country must not be underestimated. In fact, the decision to bid for hosting and eventually to deliver a large-scale sporting competition is often the outcome of strategic political calculation that reflects the goals of the domestic and foreign policy of the government (Cho and Bairner 2012; Lee 2010; Ha and Mangan 2002; Hill 1996). Hosting mega-events is often regarded as a useful opportunity to display the merits, image, and even the prowess of the host nation to both domestic and international audiences (Grix and Houlihan 2014; Nye 2004) and it is this representational nature of sports mega-events that the South Korean government attempts to utilise in order to realise its political aim (Cha 2009).

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