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The 2006 Asian Games : self-affirmation and soft power

Abstract : This article is based on a study of the 2006 Asian Games held in Qatar. It was one of the first major international sporting events ever organised by Qatar that has since become a key location for such occasions. The purpose of this study was to explain the function of mega-events. They are associated with the event organisers to bring out the unique identity of a nation and to gain credibility with the international community through the use of an emotional dynamic. Analysis proposes to illustrate how this event affected Qatar internationally as part of soft power as well as the structuring role it played locally. The Asian Games were not to be perceived as an isolated sports event on the contrary, it was an integral part of a global strategy. Qatar needed to gain political recognition and to demonstrate its ability to organise other more prestigious sporting events. Moreover, this mega-event served a local purpose. It was essential in the process of identity affirmation. As a metaphor of society, sport had to symbolise excellence with regard to the values promoted. It was an opportunity to associate the modern aspect of sports with the traditional values of a political system and the Muslim faith. Previously, where sport was typically ingrained in the values that defined western society, Qatari leaders believed that social values could purify sports to become a method of socialisation. If mega-events were a means to increase Qatar’s influence in international relations, they also served as a cultural instrument that would impose a model for society and further increase the country’s influence.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 5:35:25 PM
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Michaël Attali. The 2006 Asian Games : self-affirmation and soft power. Leisure Studies, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2015, 35 (4), pp.470-486. ⟨10.1080/02614367.2015.1035311⟩. ⟨halshs-01509949⟩



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