Identifying Sports Diplomacy Resources as Soft Power Tools
Although hosting international high-profile sporting events such as the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup are attractive soft power tools for governments to achieve public diplomacy goals, not all sports diplomacy efforts are mega-sporting events. This study explores the use of sports diplomacy by nations and attempts to identify the most applicable sports diplomacy resources available to governments to employ as soft power tools. The data for this research are composed of 30 online surveys completed by international experts in the fields of sports and public diplomacy. The responses were qualitatively analyzed using the fuzzy Delphi method (FDM). After running two rounds of fuzzy Delphi, sports diplomacy resources were classified into three categories: “Sports Events,” “Sports Human Capitals,” and “Sports Products.” Further, “sports players”; “women’s sports”; “hosting/participating in regional, international, continental, or global events”; “coaches”; and “authentic sports leagues” were identified as the most important sports diplomacy resources.
KeywordsSoft power Public diplomacy Fuzzy Delphi method (FDM) Sports diplomacy
This research is a part of a doctoral dissertation entitled “The Modeling of Soft Power Implementation throughout Sports Diplomacy,” which was supported by the Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology [June 8, 2015].
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