Impact / Nations / Risk / Venues

World Cup Watching

Geopolitics

Professor Simon Chadwick

Posted: May 16, 2018

A SHORT GUIDE TO FOLLOWING – GEOPOLITICS

WHAT IT IS

“A study of the influence of such physical factors as geography, economics, demography upon the politics and especially the foreign policy of a state; the combination of political and geographic factors characterising a particular state or region.” (Gove, 1986)

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT

Geopolitics sets the backdrop against which the World Cup will be played, this year’s tournament in Russia being an especially sensitive one given, for example the country’s issues with doping, hacking, trolling, poisoning and so forth. This summer, geopolitics is set to be a hot topic: 1) because some nations are already taking diplomatic action against Russia; and 2) because President Putin and the Russian governing appears to be using the World Cup as a means through which to achieve other ends.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

What Russia’s President Putin says and does – before, during and after the World Cup. Similarly, how nations with which Russia has a fractious relationship (e.g. Britain, France etc.) react to the the tournament could be significant. Worth following the broader context of the tournament too, especially the axes of alliances that will add context to the competition (e.g. between Russia and Iran, and between Saudi Arabia and the United States).

SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK

How likely is it that further diplomatic action will be taken against Russia ahead of the World Cup, and what would be the ramifications of this for the tournament?

In what ways will Russia, as well as other countries, utilise the World Cup as a vehicle for conveying particular messages and positions?

Once the World Cup is over, will Russia’s hosting of the tournament prompt it to engage in actions similar to those that took place after the Sochi Olympic Games?

SOMETHING TO READ

Brand Russia faces an uphill struggle to repair its image ahead of World Cup 2018 https://theconversation.com/brand-russia-faces-an-uphill-struggle-to-repair-its-image-ahead-of-world-cup-2018-88340

Five diplomatic rows looming over Russia’s World Cup https://www.24matins.uk/topnews/headline/five-diplomatic-rows-looming-over-russias-world-cup-57408

How Russia has devoted its energy to the beautiful game https://theconversation.com/how-russia-has-devoted-its-energy-to-the-beautiful-game-46174

SOMETHING TO WATCH

Russia Hosts the World Cup: Sports and Politics in 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=013Ps9Dy00A

The 2018 World Cup could lead to conflict on and off the pitch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZMqxvuMc-g

 

About Professor Simon Chadwick

Simon is Professor of Sports Enterprise at Salford University in Manchester (UK), where he is also a Co-Director of the Centre for Sports Business. He is also a Founding Co-Director of the China Soccer Observatory and a Senior Fellow of the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham (UK). He has worked in football across the world, for various organisations including companies, federations, and governments. He tweets via @Prof_Chadwick