More Than Just a Game

MarcosThe 2014 FIFA World Cup hosted in Brazil had a major impact on the country and its stance in the world. With much focus on Brazil preparing to open its country to millions of people for the tournament, an underlying concern was lurking in the shadows: security.

The Harvard International Review article, “Dark Shadows: The Threat of Terrorism Hangs Over Brazil” written by UCF Ph.D Security Studies student,  Marcos Degaut, probes the security levels of Brazil and its attitude regarding potential terrorist threats.

Degaut, a Brazilian Political Advisor at the House of Representatives and former Intelligence Officer, examines how Brazilian government officials seem to be unaware of how vulnerable their country could be to outside intruders. Instead of Brazil underestimating potential terrorist activity, Degaut suggests that inflating security threat measures “can be understood as an opportunistic approach commonly used by decision makers to exaggerate a threat to national security in order to influence public opinion, allocate resources to specific ends, and change the policy-making process”.

The article goes on to elaborate the differences between “terrorism” and “terror acts”, the goals of each tactic and reflects back to historical sports events where terrorist groups took advantage of the national attention to broadcast their political mission. The author highlights how Brazil should be more wary of security procedures for their country because “if the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States have taught us anything, it is that no country is immune to terrorism. Neglecting the terrorist phenomenon…is the worst mistake that policymakers could possibly make.”

While the FIFA World Cup went well with no terrorist intrusion, Brazil should not brush off the concept of “terrorism” for its government. There is reason for concern in this area especially if the country is aiming to become an emerging world power with strong influences that may in return draw enemies. Brazil must always remember “when you open up your country to others, you also risk letting in their issues as well.”

The article appeared in the Harvard International Review. Summer, 2014, Vol. 36 Issue 1. The article can be accessed through the UCF library here.

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