SOAS University of London

A Multi-dimensional Sport Diplomacy and Governance Hub

At least since the era of the ancient Olympic Games, sporting competition has assisted human societies in mediating estrangements, resolving conflict and sublimating competitive urges. Through sport: organisations, cities, states and individuals have represented themselves to, and communicated with foreign counterparts. In doing so, opposing sides – teams and the citizenry who support them – come to know one another, creating opportunities to build and sustain durable, ongoing and peaceful relationships. 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 under explored.

The hub has broad aims and outputs to cultivate a variety of conversations and impacts, centred on the key question: where does sport fit in global diplomacy and governance?

Image taken from the Sport and Diplomacy: Past Reflections and Looking Toward 2020 event in 2017

Image taken from the Sport and Diplomacy: Past Reflections and Looking Toward 2020 event in 2017

The hub, currently, has strategies around:

  • An inter-disciplinary and multi-partner research project: Opportunities for Interdisciplinary interpretations of Sport Diplomacy and Governance in Sporting Mega Events (SME) in East Asia and in the UK (2018-2022).
  • An engagement and open-access repository of conversations and sources that link to sport diplomacy and governance, for example, the launch of the ‘Global Conversations Podcast Series.’

Please read our pages and for further information contact the project lead Dr. J Simon Rofe. Who since 2012 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.