Following the recent arrests of FIFA officials, Sunil Dasgupta, director of UMBC’s political science program at the Universities of Shady Grove, wrote an article for International Relations and Security Network (ISN) News about the arrests illustrating a key feature of American soft power.
“Rather than blaming the media or the public for paying more attention to a sporting controversy than to developments in the South China Sea, this unlikely legal move by the U.S. Department of Justice should be taken as evidence of the symbolic nature of power in contemporary international politics. On the symbolic terrain of soft power, the governance of football may indeed be more important than the geopolitics of Chinese island construction projects. If so, the FIFA arrests may indicate that the United States is more capable of shaping certain elements of the international system than reports of its decline have suggested,” Dasgupta wrote.
In the article, he also discussed what the FIFA controversy says about governing on an global scale: “…the football controversy promises to define new rules for governing non-state international organizations—a type of entity left outside the post-World War II institutional order. It also offers a new methodology for solving problems: state action on behalf of a global, rather than a national, public, which is a novel and potentially exciting model for reorganizing the international system.”
To read the full article titled “Football or Atolls? Why Football Matters More than Chinese Island Construction for World Politics,” click here.