Sport diplomacy: Origins, Theory and Practice

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review


This book offers an accessible overview of the role sport plays in international relations and diplomacy.

Sports diplomacy has previously been defined as an old but under-studied aspect of the estranged relations between peoples, nations and states. These days, it is better understood as the conscious, strategic and ongoing use of sport, sportspeople and sporting events by state and non-state actors to advance policy, trade, development, education, image, reputation, brand, and people-to-people links. In order to better understand the many occasions where sport and diplomacy overlap, this book presents four new, inter-disciplinary and theoretical categories of sports diplomacy: traditional, ‘new’, sport-as-diplomacy, and sports anti-diplomacy. These categories are further validated by a large number of case studies, ranging from the Ancient Olympiad to the recent appearance of esoteric, government sports diplomacy strategies, and beyond, to the activities of non-state sporting actors such as F.C. Barcelona, Colin Kaepernick and the digital world of e-sports. As a result, the landscape of sports diplomacy becomes clearer, as do the pitfalls and limitations of using sport as a diplomatic tool.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages274
ISBN (Electronic)9781351126953
ISBN (Print)9780815356905
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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