Geopolitics of sports mega-events: why is international sport moving to emerging countries?



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Tartu Ülikool


A growing number of major sports mega-events, usually held in Western liberal states, are finding new hosts in the emerging world. This has risen controversial opinions but the question of why this trend is happening remains. The following thesis draws attention to the socio-political factors behind the phenomenon. The theoretical part discusses relations between sports mega-events and the forces of globalization. Theory of hybridization is considered most suitable in the context of the work. Possible explanations to the research question are assessed on the basis of existing literature. Bidding processes for the hosting rights of eight consecutive Olympic Games are examined in the empirical part. It is concluded that the existence of geopolitical aspirations is the most important factor causing international sport to move towards emerging countries.