Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Jordan Branch


Sports serve as an important channel for the international spread of a country’s culture, values, and even foreign policy objectives. Since globalization has led to the spread of instantaneous information, many governments have started experimenting with sports diplomacy. This paper investigates how sports diplomacy is utilized by countries as a form of soft power. Specifically, this paper analyzes two facets of sports diplomacy. The first is sports diplomacy’s influence on image-building initiatives and the second being its ability to promote relationship building endeavors between governments. This paper explores various historical cases in which governments sought to leverage sports, sporting events, or athletes in image-building or relationship building efforts. While these cases suggest that sports diplomacy is an attractive form of soft power, its success in international relations is heavily reliant on media attention and public perception.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.