Sport and Peace-Building in Divided Societies
Playing with the Enemy
By John Sugden
Routledge – 2013 – 192 pages
Sport is a cultural institution that stands at the interface between political and civil society. In divided communities, sport has been an agent of separation, sectarian hatred and violence, but also a highly effective tool for conflict resolution, reconciliation and peace-building.
In this keynote study, John Sugden draws on a lifetime’s experience of working in sport in divided communities, as both researcher and organiser/activist, to develop a definitive and distinctive methodological and theoretical model for peace-building in sport. The book is centred on three regions of the world in which sport has been a prominent element of social deconstruction and reconstruction: Northern Ireland, and the author’s experiences of using football as an anti-sectarian intervention for young Protestants and Catholics; Israel/Palestine and the ‘Football for Peace’ project, a grassroots, sport based, co-existence programme that focuses on improving intergroup relations between disparate communities; and South Africa, where sport has played a central role for decades in maintaining and also repairing social division.
Drawing on first hand experiences, as well as a wealth of primary and secondary data, the author charts the rise of the contemporary ‘Sport for International Development and Peace’ (SIDP) movement and outlines an important new theoretical and practice-based framework for understanding, researching, and doing effective work in, the SIDP sector. Sport, Peace and Conflict Resolution is essential reading for any student, researcher or practitioner with an interest in the sociology of sport, sport development, international development, peace studies or conflict resolution.
Introduction Part One: A Conceptual Framework 1. Sport in International Development: Bandwagon or Social Movement? 2. Sport, the Sociological Imagination, and Critical Realism 3. Sport, Conflict Resolution, and Peace Building Part Two: The Role of Sport in Peace Processes 4. South Africa 5. Northern Ireland 6. Israel/Palestine Part Three: Evaluation and strategic development 7. How to Measure a Change of Heart? Research and Evaluation in Sport for International Development and Peace 8. Making the Ripple Effect. A theory and method for peace building through sport in divided societies
John Sugden is Professor of the Sociology of Sport at the University of Brighton, UK, and has researched and written widely around topics concerned with the politics and sociology of sport. He is Academic Leader of the Sport and Leisure Cultures subject group and Director of Football for Peace, based in Israel.