This really seems to be the big
something something Beijing Olympics Boycott posting day.
As best I understand it (I am open to corrections if wrong), in the past, Olympics politics have concerned inter-state rivalry, and have been driven by decisions on the part of traditional political elites. … The dynamic driving the Beijing Olympics seems to me to be rather different; what we are seeing is that the politics of boycott is being driven by mass-publics, and most recently by protestors, rather than by political leaders.
Actually, things are a bit more complicated, as much of the discussion this time is about a political rather than an athletic boycott of the Beijing games.
One interesting point in the Danish discussion is that the political faultlines are non-obvious: That the – traditionally anti-Communist and pro-Taiwan – Danish People’s Party favours a boycott is not that surprising, but that the Liberals are against a boycott while the Conservatives are more or less in favour may be a bit surprising. The business community – which traditionally supports the Conservatives – would not be happy about a boycott. Add the intricate question about Crown Prince Frederik’s maybe-candidacy for the IOC and things get really complicated.
Update: John Sides has this collection of polls about public attitudes towards a boycott of the 2008 Olympics. One thing I can’t see – and I’ve tried to find the original Danish Gallup poll – is whether the Danish poll was about the opening ceremony or the entire games.