An Inter-Event Comparison of Two Historic Global Mega Events

In the latest issue of CPD Perspectives on Public Diplomacy, CPD Visiting Scholar and U.S. Public Diplomat in Residence Matthew Asada compares two global mega-events that occurred within a 17-month period between July 2021 and December 2022: the FIFA 2022 World Cup and Expo 2020 Dubai.

An Inter-Event Comparison of Two Historic Global Mega Events: FIFA 2022 and Expo 2020” is the first analysis comparing Doha and Dubai’s bidding narratives, the events’ response to external stimuli, and the countries’ delivery of the two mega events and their innovations on event type.  The article offers an initial framework for future inter-event comparisons within a region, or during a set period.  This framework may be of increasing value as more countries, particularly those developing or ones seeking to brand or rebrand themselves on the global stage, adopt global mega events as part of their public diplomacy strategies.  Finally, the insights from this article may be of interest for those studying Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. 

Asada has a unique perspective from which to assess and write this analysis as a firsthand participant in the events.  He is a career diplomat and a World’s Fair enthusiast, policymaker, and practitioner.  He has visited six World’s Fairs, including the last five World Expos, and led the effort to realize a USA Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, first as the project manager at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC, and later as the Deputy Commissioner General of the USA Pavilion in Dubai, UAE.4  Before serving as project manager for the Dubai pavilion, he led the diplomatic campaign for the United States’ bid to host the 2023 World’s Fair.  

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