SOAS University of London

Sports Diplomacy: A Sport, Diplomacy, and Governance Hub

Sporting competition has assisted human societies in mediating estrangements, resolving conflict and building bridges across cultures since the era of the ancient Olympic Games. Such engagements with the ‘other’ simultaneously produce and reinforce each state and people’s own identity. These bilateral and multilateral processes of representation and communication constitute a form of diplomacy and governance which has hitherto been underexplored.

This hub cultivates a variety of conversations and resources centred on the key question: where does sport fit in global diplomacy and governance, and how is the changing the notion of who conducts sports diplomacy impacting the global sports world?

HoopsDiplomacy at SOAS

Researchers at the SOAS Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy are working with national and international partners on a range of topics, with funding from different institutions on issues related to sports diplomacy and governance.

The Centre’s research is built around the following research areas:

  • Sports Diplomacy and Governance in Sporting Mega Events (SME) in East Asia and in the UK (2018-2022).
  • Basketball Diplomacy in the 21st Century (Africa and beyond)
  • Digital Sports Diplomacy
  • Sportspeople as Ambassadors
  • Sport Diplomacy and Inclusivity
  • Sports Diplomacy in Africa

Project Lead

Simon Rofe Profile Picture

The Sports Diplomacy and Governance hub is lead by Dr. J Simon Rofe. Since 2012, Dr. Rofe has been connected with over 50 academic publications, including, two Special Issues and an edited collection; a campus and online teaching programme; funding and event projects past and ongoing pertaining to sports diplomacy and governance. Please contact Dr. Rofe for further information or to become involved in future opportunities. 

Affiliated Researchers

Please read our pages and for further information contact the project lead Dr. J Simon Rofe.