1st Edition

Sports Diplomacy Origins, Theory and Practice

By Stuart Murray Copyright 2018
    274 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    274 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    This book will be of much interest to students of diplomacy, foreign policy, sports studies, and International Relations in general. 


    PART 1: Sport, Diplomacy and Traditional Sports Diplomacy

    1. A Revised Anthropology of Diplomacy

    2. The Essence of Sport

    3. Traditional Sports Diplomacy

    PART 2: Sports Diplomacy in the Plural, Twenty-First Century

    4. 'New' Sports Diplomacy

    5. Public and Networked Sports Diplomacy: Theories and Limitations

    PART 3: Non-state Sporting Actors and Diplomacy

    6. The Diplomacy of Non-State Sporting Actors: Representation

    7. Non-state Sporting Actors: Communication

    8. Non-state Sporting Actors: Negotiation, Intelligence Gathering and Dissemination, and the Minimisation of Friction.

    PART 4: The Dark Side of International Sport

    9. Sports Anti-Diplomacy in the State Context

    10. Sports Anti-Diplomacy: Brats, Neo-Emperors, Hooligans and Terrorists

    Extra-time: Ttraditional Versus New Sports Diplomacy


    Stuart Murray is an Associate Professor at Bond University, Australia. He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Sport at Edinburgh University, UK and Associate Editor of the journal Diplomacy & Foreign Policy.

    'Stuart Murray has succeeded in producing a thoughtful and comprehensive study of the relationships between sport and diplomacy. He ranges from the traditional to the contemporary in a story which he tells with clarity, originality, and good humour. This will be an indispensable title for anyone interested in how the worlds of diplomacy and sport use, and are used by, each other.'--Paul Sharp, University of Minnesota, Duluth, USA

    'A persuasive and important challenge to current thinking on sports diplomacy. Stuart Murray’s book is path-breaking and draws upon a breadth of interactions with governments, diplomats and the world of sport. For those who question and acknowledge the role of sport in making the politics of the possible, possible this is a significant and timely tour de force. The author is arguably one of the world’s leading authorities on sports diplomacy and this recent endeavour is a must read for those working in politics, cultural relations and sport.'--Grant Jarvie, Chair of Sport, University of Edinburgh, UK

    'This book provides a lively, engaging and much needed account of the deep and enduring relationship between sport and diplomacy. Stuart Murray provides analytical clarity and insights from the field to highlight the potential and pitfalls of 'sport diplomacy' as a tool for bringing people and communities together. In doing so, he reminds us of the value of innovation in diplomacy, particularly for today's ever- changing world. An important piece of interdisciplinary scholarship, this book will be of great interest to diplomats, scholars and sportspeople alike.'--Caitlin Byrne, Griffith Asia Institute, Australia

    'Stuart Murray's ground-breaking book opens another societal dimension to the practice of diplomacy. Sports diplomacy as humanist endeavour provides a universal, unifying and peaceful impact on transnational communities. It adds a vivid tool to the diversity of diplomacy and strengthens the attraction towards its enlarging epistemic community.'--Ambassador (ret.) Wilfried Bolewski, Sciences Po Paris, France

    'Stuart Murray’s tome is an important, timely and thorough contribution to both the theory and practice of Sports Diplomacy. An impressive example of interdisciplinary scholarship, this book covers most aspects of the fascinating, storied and complex relationships between sport, diplomacy and human societies.'--Simon Rofe, SOAS, University of London, UK

    'In his book, Stuart Murray observes repeatedly that politics and sports have belonged together from immemorial times and do so strongly today. Focusing on the role of sports in human relations, he has written a world history of conflict and contact between individuals, groups and states.' -- Kristian Gerner, Dept. of History, Lund University