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Sports Diplomacy

Sports Diplomacy The relationship between sport, society and politics is an ancient and intriguing one. Whether thinking of the early days of mankind, when spear-throwing competitions were the first type of organized sport, or of the lavish festivals of sport, religion and truce of the Ancient Olympiad (776 BC-394 AD), or of the age of empires and ‘The Great Game’, the strategic rivalry played out in Afghanistan between British and Russian Empires, sport has featured prominently in relations between peoples and nations. As Allison notes, all kinds of governments [. . .] have endorsed international sporting competition as a testing ground for the nation or for a political ‘system’. German Nazis, Italian Fascists, Soviet and Cuban Communists, Chinese Maoists, western capitalist democrats, Latin American juntas — all have played the game and believed in it. 1 Considering its longevity, utility and prominence, sport has been analysed by sociologists, philosophers, biologists and many others. George Orwell wrote that sport was simply ‘war minus the shooting’, but he was most certainly not the first to parody sport with international relations, to liken competition and games with tribalism, battle, conquest, suffering and violence. In the era of globalization, sport is promoted as a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Hague Journal of Diplomacy Brill

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Introduction
ISSN
1871-1901
eISSN
1871-191X
DOI
10.1163/1871191X-12341264
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The relationship between sport, society and politics is an ancient and intriguing one. Whether thinking of the early days of mankind, when spear-throwing competitions were the first type of organized sport, or of the lavish festivals of sport, religion and truce of the Ancient Olympiad (776 BC-394 AD), or of the age of empires and ‘The Great Game’, the strategic rivalry played out in Afghanistan between British and Russian Empires, sport has featured prominently in relations between peoples and nations. As Allison notes, all kinds of governments [. . .] have endorsed international sporting competition as a testing ground for the nation or for a political ‘system’. German Nazis, Italian Fascists, Soviet and Cuban Communists, Chinese Maoists, western capitalist democrats, Latin American juntas — all have played the game and believed in it. 1 Considering its longevity, utility and prominence, sport has been analysed by sociologists, philosophers, biologists and many others. George Orwell wrote that sport was simply ‘war minus the shooting’, but he was most certainly not the first to parody sport with international relations, to liken competition and games with tribalism, battle, conquest, suffering and violence. In the era of globalization, sport is promoted as a

Journal

The Hague Journal of DiplomacyBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2013

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