The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Got the post-Olympic blues?

March 2, 2010

Not to worry, the World Cup in South Africa is only 100 days away.

It’s been six years since FIFA awarded the World Cup to South Africa and there is a lot of excitement about an African nation finally hosting the World Cup and how the event has the potential to be a transcendent event. (I still wonder how things might have been different in the Balkans if the unified Yugoslavia team had defeated Argentina in the 1990 Quarterfinals shoot out and advanced…but I digress…) It’s been less than twenty years since the end of the apartheid regime and, if the event goes smoothly, with more than 1 billion likely television viewers this could be a real boon for the country (and for the moderate wing of the ANC).

Still, for all the excitement, the planning and preparations have been decidedly mixed. And, as my colleague at Smith College, Andrew Zimbalist, often reminds me the economic benefits of sports are often oversold.

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Jon Western has spent the last fifteen years teaching IR in liberal arts colleges at Mount Holyoke College and the Five Colleges in western Massachusetts. He has an eclectic range of intellectual interests but often writes on international security, U.S. foreign policy, military intervention, and human rights. He occasionally shares his thoughts about professional life in liberal arts colleges. In his spare time he coaches middle school soccer, mentors the local high school robotics team, skis, and sails.