International Studies: Interdisciplinary Cultural and Political Journal


Norway is perceived as a country with a clear international identity. The aim of the article is to investigate the sports diplomacy of Norway and to examine its influence on the international brand of this country. The author will define the term “sports diplomacy” and attempt to outline the strategy of Norway’s public diplomacy; an analysis of the methods used in Norwegian sports diplomacy will follow. The main hypothesis of this paper is that sports diplomacy only plays a subsidiary role in Norwegian nation branding.


Sports diplomacy, public diplomacy, nation branding, international image of Norway


Beijing 2008 Medal Table. BBC. 13 August 2012. Web. 03 June 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/2012/medals/historical-medals-beijing-2008/countries

Countries in the world (ranked by 2014 population), “Worldometers”, 2014. Web. 3 June 2015, http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/population-by-country/

Future Brand launches the Country Brand Index 2014–15, 2015. Web. 3 June 2015. http://www.futurebrand.com/news/futurebrand-launches-the-country-brand-index-2014–15

Medal table. BBC. 13 August 2012. Web. 3 June 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/2012/medals/countries

Niche diplomacy: a key for smaller states to become visible? The example of Norway and peacemaking diplomacy. 22 March 2012, Web. 15 June 2015, https://publicandculturaldiplomacy1.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/niche-diplomacy-a-key-for-smaller-states-to-become-visible/

Norway’s image abroad – a shared responsibility. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 9 January 2013. Web. 13 June 2015, https://www.regjeringen.no/en/topics/foreign-affairs/public-diplomacy-and-international-cultural-cooperatio/norgesprofilering/image_abroad/id708753/

Norway’s International Image ‘Strong and Stable’ According to International Reputation Survey. 19 November 2014. Web. 3 June 2015, http://www.norway.org/News_and_events/Embassy/Norways-International-Image-Strong-and-Stable-According-to-International-Reputation-Survey/#.VW7EsNLtlHw

Sochi 2014 Medal Table. BBC. 23 February 2014. Web 3 June 2015, http://www.bbc.com/sport/winter-olympics/2014/medals/countries

Sport Vancouver 2010. BBC. 18 January 2011. Web 3 June 2015, http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/olympic_games/vancouver_2010/default.stm

Sports and Public Diplomacy Envoys 2005–2013, 2013. Web. 05 June 2015, http://eca.state.gov/programs-initiatives/sports-diplomacy/sports-envoys-and-sports-visitors/sports-and-public-diplomacy

Strategy for Norway’s culture and sports co-operation with countries in the South, eds. R. Bendiksen, M. Lendig, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo. Web. 10 June 2015, https://www.regjeringen.no/globalassets/upload/kilde/ud/rap/2005/0022/ddd/pdfv/265661-culture.pdf

U.S. Embassy gets a kick out of Sports Diplomacy, Embassy of the United States in Oslo. August 2011. Web. 1 June 2015, http://norway.usembassy.gov/norwaycup2011.html

World GDP (nominal) per capita Ranking 2015. 27 April 2015. Web. 15 June 2015, http://statisticstimes.com/economy/world-gdp-capita-ranking.php

Youth Olympic Games. 2015. Web. 16.06.2015, http://lillehammer2016.com/yog/

Abend, L., Why Nobody Wants to Host the 2022 Winter Olympics. “Time”. 3 October 2014. Web. 16 May 2015, http://time.com/3462070/olympics-winter-2022/

Augestad, P. and Bergsgard N.A., Norway, [in] Comparative Elite Sport Development: Systems, Structures and Public Policy, eds. B. Houlihan, M. Green. Elsevier, Burlington 2008.

Bátora, J., Public Diplomacy in Small and Medium-Seized States: Norway and Canada. (2005). Netherlands institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’, The Hague 2005. Web. 2 June 2015, http://www.clingendael.nl/sites/default/files/20050300_cli_paper_dip_issue97.pdf

Cashmore, E., Sports Culture. An A-Z Guide. Routledge World Reference, London 2000.

Darnell, S.C., Ethnical Challenges and Principal Hurdles in Sport-For-Development Work, [in] Sport, Social Development and Peace, eds. K. Young, C. Okada, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley 2014.

Eichberg, H., Between North and South: Dilemmas of sports development aid. Idrottsforum.org. 2014. Web. 16 June 2015, http://idrottsforum.org/eichen_straume140321/21.03.2014

Gilboa, E., The Public Diplomacy of Middle Powers. “Public Diplomacy Magazine”, 2010. Web. 2 June 2015, http://publicdiplomacymagazine.com/the-public-diplomacy-of-middle-powers/

Goksøyr, M. and Hanstad D.V., Elite sport development in Norway – a radical transformation. [in] Nordic Elite Sport, eds. S.S. Andersen, L. Ronglan, Universitetsforlaget, Oslo 2012.

Henrikson, A.K. Niche Diplomacy in the World Public Arena: the Global ‘Corners’ of Canada and Norway, [in] The New Public Diplomacy: Soft Power in International Relations, ed. J. Melissen, Palgrave Macmillan, New York 2005.

Jarvie, G.T., The soft power of sport can win friends, 2014. Web 1 June 2015, http://www.ed.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/1.154042!/fileManager/GrantJarvies-InauguralLecture-text-2014.pdf

John, E. and Allen B., ‘We showed the World the Nordic Way’: Sking, Norwegians, and the Winter Olympic Games in 1920s, [in] The Olympics at the Millennium: Power, Politics and the Games, eds. K. Schaffer, S. Smith. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick 2000.

Johns, A.L., Introduction. Competing in the Global Arena: Sport and Foreign Relations since 1945, [in] Diplomatic Games. Sport, stagecraft, and international relations since 1945, eds. H.L. Dichter, A.L. Johns, University Press of Kentucky, Lexington 2014.

Johnson, H.F., Foreward, [in] Strategy for Norway’s culture and sports co-operation with countries in the South (2005), eds. R. Bendiksen, M. Lendig, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo 2005. Web. 10 June 2015, https://www.regjeringen.no/globalassets/upload/kilde/ud/rap/2005/0022/ddd/pdfv/265661-culture.pdf

L’Etang, J., Sports Public Relations, Sage, Los Angeles 2013.

Leonard, M. and Small A., Norwegian Public Diplomacy. Executive Summary, June 2003. Web. 3 June 2015, https://www.regjeringen.no/globalassets/upload/ud/vedlegg/public.pdf

Leonard, M., Stead, C. and Smewing, C., Public Diplomacy, The Foreign Policy Centre, London 2002.

McClory, J., The New Persuaders III: A 2012 Global Ranking of Soft Power, 2012. Web. 16 June 2015, http://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/The%20new%20persuaders%20III_0.pdf

Moore, T., Norway’s Focused Communication Strategy, 2012. Web. 1 June 2015, http://www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/item/2010/0912/comm/moore_norway.html

Murray, S. and Pigman G.A., Mapping the relationship between international sport and diplomacy, Sport in Society, 2014, Vol. 17, No. 9.

Nye, J.S., Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics, PublicAffairs, New York 2004.

Nygård, H.M., Soft power at home and abroad: Sport diplomacy, politics and peace building, International Area Studies Review, 16 (3), 2013.

Ociepka, B., Miękka siła i dyplomacja publiczna Polski, Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar, Warszawa 2013.

Owen, D., Lillehammer 1994 showed that size isn’t everything in the Olympic world, 16 February 2014. Web. 15 June 2015, http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1018424/lillehammer-1994-showed-that-size-isn-t-everythingin-the-olympic-world

Pamment, J., New Public Diplomacy in the 21st Century: A Comparative study of policy and practice. Routledge, Abingdon 2013.

Ritto, L., Diplomacy and its practice, Public Diplomacy and National Branding, Diplomat Magazine. By/For Diplomats, 2014. Web. 2 June 2015, http://www.diplomatmagazine.nl/2014/07/06/diplomacy-practice-public-diplomacy-national-branding/

Rowe, D., Global Media Sport. Flows, Forms and Futures. Bloomsbury, London 2011.

Rugh W.A., Front Line Diplomacy. How US Embassies Communicate with Foreign Publics, Palgrave, New York 2014

Saxena, A., The Sociology of Sport and Physical Education, Sports Publication, New Delhi 2011.

Shearer, D., To Play Ball, Not Make War, Harvard International Review 3 6 (1) (Summer 2014). Web. 4 June 2015, http://hir.harvard.edu/archives/7309

Smith, D.J., NORWEGIAN PUBLIC DIPLOMACY, Norway Communicates, 2010. Web. 02 June 2015, http://www.norwaycommunicates.com/diplomacy.html

The Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index. Prepared for Switzerland. August 2009.

United States of America Congressional Record. Proceedings and Debates of the 108th Congress First Session. Vol. 149 – Part 19. October 24 to November 4, 2003, Washington 2003.

First Page


Last Page