Shaun Riordan on how creating more subsets of diplomacy can lead to confusion about what diplomacy actually is.
The use of sport as an instrument of foreign policy is nothing new for the U.S. government. [...] The Sports Diplomacy Division of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs employs only five staffers and spends only .0001 percent of the Department budget. And yet, it has still managed to recruit some of the country's most celebrated athletes to the cause, and its programs have reached thousands of people in more than 100 countries over the past 15 years.
Mina Guli became an advocate for the UN's sustainable development goals by running 40 marathons in 40 days.
The Worm has returned. On Tuesday, former NBA great Dennis Rodman flew back to North Korea during a time of heightened tensions with Washington, after the rogue state's 16 missile tests so far this year, and its arrest of two more U.S. citizens, bringing the total number of Americans held by the regime to four. It's at least the fourth trip to North Korea for Rodman, who was previously hosted in 2013 and 2014 by Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, a known basketball fanatic.
With the International Olympic Committee (IOC) set to have chosen Paris over Los Angeles as the site for the 2024 Olympics, it is timely to ask: Is hosting the Olympics good for a nation’s brand, and do they provide a good financial return on investment? [...] He also noted that the concept of nation-branding pervaded China’s handling of the 2008 Beijing games. “In China their goal was broad recognition as a leader on the global stage.” He said that China was largely successful, but that in terms of political reputation, the country was thrown into a negative light.
Now that Qatar is embroiled in controversy with nearly the entire Sunni Islamic world, led by Saudi Arabia, the 2022 FIFA World Cup is suddenly at risk. The Qatar World Cup has been dogged by controversy since the day it was announced in 2012. But even years of international and humanitarian moral outrage could not do to Qatar what Saudi Arabia proved able to do almost instantly: isolate Qatar’s ruling emir and take away his biggest soft-power achievement.
The Afghan Cricket Board (ACB) on Thursday said it had cancelled all matches and agreements with Pakistan after the Afghan intelligence linked the Pakistani intelligence agency to the Kabul bombing that left 90 dead and 463 wounded. [...] Kabul and Islamabad had recently reached an agreement to play two friendly matches in Kabul and in Pakistan's Lahore city, besides two series of matches in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, and other agreements on sports.
There has always been an inherent connection between sports and politics. The cooperation and collaboration intrinsic in team sports aid in nation-building by rousing patriotism and pride. Sportsmanship and camaraderie can strengthen domestic relations or can be magnified as diplomatic relations between states. [...] The role of sports as a form of soft power is more relevant than ever as we look ahead to the 2018 Olympics hosted by South Korea in PyeongChang and the role of international organizations.