Mapping the relationship between international sport and diplomacy

Stuart Murray, Geoffrey Allen Pigman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


To date, the relationship between diplomacy and international sport has been relatively under-theorized. This paper seeks to redress the deficiency by proposing an analytical taxonomy of the multiple convergences between international sport and diplomacy. The principal analytical distinction to be drawn is between (1) international sport consciously employed by governments as an instrument of diplomacy and (2) international-sport-as-diplomacy, the diplomatic representation, communication and negotiation between non-state actors that take place as a result of ongoing international sporting competition. By increasing understanding of the rôles of sport in diplomacy and diplomacy in sport, the paper seeks to promote the adoption of best practices to facilitate effective use of sport in diplomacy by governments and effective use of diplomacy by international sporting bodies, and to instigate a debate between theorists and practitioners from both realms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1098-1118
Number of pages21
JournalSport in Society
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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