Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Unger, Danny, 1955-

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


Political science; International relations; Olympics--Political aspects--Research; Sports and state--Research; Hosting of sporting events--Research; Sports and globalization--Research


Why do states accept the risks associated with hosting a sporting mega-event? This dissertation argues states pursue sporting mega-events for the purposes of promoting identity and interests. Specifically, this dissertation explores the hypothesis that emerging states use sporting mega-events as moments of public diplomacy to facilitate the promotion of identity and pursuit of national interests. This dissertation uses a qualitative case study methodology framed within the constructivist international relations literature. Cases include the 1936 Berlin Olympic Summer Games, 1964 Tokyo Olympic Summer Games, 1980 Moscow Olympic Summer Games, and the 1988 Seoul Olympic Summer Games. To date, the international relations literature has been silent on the role of sporting mega-events. Therefore, this paper not only contributes to the discussion on sporting mega-events, but also connects key theoretical propositions drawn from the international relations scholarship to the study of sporting mega-events.


Advisors: Daniel Unger.||Committee members: Andrea Radasanu; Matthew J. Streb.


223 pages




Northern Illinois University

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