The Baku 2015 European Games as a national milestone of post-Soviet Azerbaijan
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 January 2019
The Baku European Games, the first multi-sport mega-event held at a European level, was a major public relations undertaking by Azerbaijan. The games were framed by a trend involving large-scale sports events promoted by the Ilham Aliyev government, based on the profits of the second oil boom in the twenty-first century. The sports event served to internationally portray Azerbaijan as a rapidly developing country and in this way to increase national consciousness within the society, which was lacking a collective narrative in the post-Soviet era. Nonetheless, the downturn due to the fall of international oil prices negatively affected the impact of the sports mega-event. Moreover, the sports competition symbolized the government's commitment to impose reasons of state and nation-building over social needs and political freedoms in Azerbaijan. This article is based on empirical fieldwork carried out in Baku in the months following the multi-sports event.
- Nationalities Papers , Volume 46 , Issue 6: Special Section: The evolution of nationhood in 20th century Europe: Lessons from the Northern Adriatic borderlands , November 2018 , pp. 1101 - 1117
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