Globalization is defined as "a set of economic and political structures and processes deriving from ht changing character of the goods and assets that compromise the base of the international political economy-in particular, the increasing structural differentiation of goods and assets"(Reich). This describes how the world is able to function and move with people coming together over certain commonalities. The world has the ability to keep moving and stay away from conflict through the interchange of world views, products, ideas and other aspects of culture. Sports allows this to happen. Through one team, people can come together across the world and support each other for one common goal. Once this happens, their beliefs become intertwined and their respective governments will being to notice that foreign policy must start to reflect the people. Therefore, sports provide a base for the foundation of globalization and people across the global coming together.
How Soccer Explains the World
In the book, How Soccer Explains the World, Franklin Foer describes how different soccer clubs describe the process of globalization. Foer tells how the fans who watch these clubs or national teams determine the government of their nations. All these fans share one commonality; nationalistic feelings for their nation that are heightened by watching soccer. Soccer is one of the few sports that is renowned and exists globally. By having this surge of nationalism, the fans want to promote their country, and team, in any way possible. They would push for their country to host the FIFA World Cup or Summer Olympics. Since many of the fans have a hold on the government, their government would comply to the wishes of the people. Thus, through a simple game, complex realities come about with nations abiding by citizens wishes; which in return promotes the country and economy.
Is It Worth It?
Hosting the Olympics or FIFA World Cup is a feat that many nations aspire to. The pros of hosting such a large supporting event are increased tourism, improvements on infrastructure of the country, venues can be used after, somewhat free advertisement for the areas with in the country and citizens become nationalistic, which increases their trust in their government(Zimbalist). Millions of people will come around the globe to watch 2 weeks of sports. This does not give them a lot of time to go sightseeing. However, they will most likely come back or tell their friends about the nation and tourism will increase in the years following the Olympics or World Cup. In order for the athletes to play, there needs to be a solid transportation system in the host country. Areas that were lacking repairs would then need to be fixed and this also allows more people from the surrounding areas to come to the games as well. Venues become multipurpose after these events, which allows economic gains within the host nation. Areas around the games will receive almost free publicity around the globe, which again boosts tourism and the economy after the games. By hosting the Olympics or World Cup, citizens of the host nation find commonalities and have a sense of pride for their nation; which is called nationalism. They begin to believe in their government and define a culture for themselves. Although hosting the Olympics or World Cup can be expensive and daunting, the pros of hosting outweigh the cons, which culminates in a unified country and revitalized economy.
The soft power of a nation is the ability to affect others to obtain the outcome one wants through attraction rather than coercion or payment(Nye). This method requires a nation to appeal to the hearts and minds of people in other countries. Also, no military or "hard" power is used. Soft power is successfully used through cultural aspects and public diplomacy. Public diplomacy is an instrument that government's use to mobilize resources to communicate with and attract peoples of other countries(Nye). A nation that has a good foundation in soft power can essentially go farther than a nation that solely relies on hard power. Wars and conflicts that are caused by hard power work can work against a nation, for the people that they are attacking can become weary and begin to make it difficult of the military forces to effectively perform their duty. By appealing to the people, nations the wield soft power have the upper hand. Governments around the world want to keep their people happy; to ensure the survival of their nation. If the people want to change or abide by another country, then their government will most likely comply, so they can prevent protests or revolts. Thus, soft power is an vital factor in the foreign policy of a nation because it appeals directly to the people; who eventually always win over the government.