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"Football and International Relations" Panel Speaker

Adam Traczyk, MA
(University of Warsaw)

Adam Traczyk studied international relations, political science, Latin American and North American studies at the University of Warsaw, the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn and the Freie Universität Berlin. He wrote his Master’s thesis on the use of sport as a political tool by Latin American countries. He is working on his PhD dissertation on Cuba’s sport policies and its impact Latin American politics. In his research he focuses on soft power, Latin American studies, the use of sport in foreign policy, as well as sport as a human right. After his graduation he also started to work with the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation in Warsaw.

Football as a Source of Soft Power: The Case of Brazil

Abstract

Since the fall of the military dictatorship in 1985 Brazil has emerged not only as a regional power but also as one of the most important international actors which may have a significant influence on global affairs. In 2001 Jim O'Neill coined an acronym BRIC to list Brazil along with Russia, India and China to describe an economic and political shift of power from the traditional G-7 states towards the developing world. However, over 10 years after O’Neill’s report, despite Brazil’s astonishing development, its foreign policy options are still limited in view of the superior hard power (economic and military) of the established great powers, as Daniel Flemes states. A possible solution to this problem is the use of soft power to overcome hard power disadvantages. Soft power is a concept developed by Joseph Nye to describe the ability to influence other actors not by military or financial force but by attraction. In the paper, I would like to analyse, using the example of Brasil, how differently football can be used as political tool to create such attraction. I would like to examine different cases from different times in Brazil’s history (the First Republic, the Getúlio Vargas' era, the military dictatorship and the New Republic) and argue that football was used by all of the above-mentioned governments as a tool to create a certain image of Brazil to present it abroad. My final remarks will also concentrate on the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2014 and the use of this mega event in Brazil’s foreign policy.

Presentation

Football as a Source of Soft Power: The Case of Brazil

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