Status and the relative ranking of states in international politics seem to be salient concerns for most foreign policymakers.2 Yet, the literature on how status rankings are attributed to states remains as scarce as research on the strategies utilized by states to maintain or enhance the status they are attributed. While there is more research conducted on both status attribution and status competition regarding major powers and rising powers,3 little systematic attention has focused on the larger population of states in international politics.4

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One of the latest contributions to this literature is an analysis of successful competition in the summer Olympics as a state status-seeking strategy (Rhamey and Early 2013). The authors find that winning Olympic medals and hosting the Olympics have significant impacts on states' status rankings. We do not question these results and, in fact, applaud the effort to...

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