Beyond the Final Score: The Politics of Sport in Asia

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Overview

The Beijing Olympics will be remembered as the largest, most expensive, and most widely watched event of the modern Olympic era. But did China present itself as a responsible host and an emergent international power, much like Japan during the 1964 Tokyo Games and South Korea during the 1988 Seoul Games? Or was Beijing in 2008 more like Berlin in 1936, when Germany took advantage of the global spotlight to promote its political ideology at home and abroad?

Beyond the Final Score takes an original look at the 2008 Beijing games within the context of the politics of sport in Asia. Asian athletics are bound up with notions of national identity and nationalism, refracting political intent and the processes of globalization. Sporting events can generate diplomatic breakthroughs (as with the results of Nixon and Mao's "ping-pong diplomacy") or breakdowns (as when an athlete defects to another country). For China, the Beijing Games introduced a liberalizing ethos that its authoritative regime could ignore only at its peril.

Victor D. Cha—former director of Asian affairs for the White House—evaluates Beijing's contention with this pressure considering the intense scrutiny China already faced on issues of counterproliferation, global warming, and free trade. He begins with the arguments that tie Asian sport to international affairs and follows with an explanation of athletics as they relate to identity, diplomacy, and transformation. Enhanced by Cha's remarkable facility with the history and politics of sport, Beyond the Final Score is the definitive examination of the events—both good and bad—that took place during the Beijing Olympics.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Korea Herald - Song Woong-ki
[Cha] illuminates both the good and the bad roles sports can play in a society.
Taiwan Today - Jean Brisebois
A profound study of the cultural and political dynamics of the Asia-Pacific region.
Korea Herald
[Cha] illuminates both the good and the bad roles sports can play in a society.

— Song Woong-ki

Taiwan Today
A profound study of the cultural and political dynamics of the Asia-Pacific region.

— Jean Brisebois

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231154918
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 1/19/2011
  • Series: Contemporary Asia in the World Series
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Victor D. Cha is the D. S. Song-Korea Foundation Chair in Asian Studies and professor of government in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He won the 2000 Ohira Book prize for Alignment Despite Antagonism: The U.S.-Korea-Japan Security Triangle and is coauthor of Nuclear North Korea: A Debate on Engagement Strategies. He is the former director of Asian affairs on the National Security Council and deputy head of the United States delegation to the six party talks.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and TablesPrefaceChronology1. Purism Versus Politics2. The Argument3. More Than Just National Pride4. Greasing the Wheels of Diplomacy5. The Olympic Facelift6. Catch-227. The Slippery Slope of ChangeNotesIndex

Columbia University Press

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