Sport, transnational peacemaking, and global civil society: exploring the reflective discourses of "sport, development and peace" project officials

2014-08-22T09:16:36Z (GMT) by Richard Giulianotti
In recent years, there has been considerable political and public interest in the "sport, development and peace" (SDP) sector. SDP agencies employ sport as an interventionist tool to promote peace, reconciliation, and development in different locations across the world. This article examines how SDP officials view their work and the sector in general. The analysis situates the SDP sector in relation to contemporary transnational processes and the global civil society. The article draws heavily on wide-ranging primary qualitative research (interviews and fieldwork) with SDP officials who operate at different levels (from very local projects through to transnational SDP agencies) and in different settings, notably in Europe, the Middle East, the Balkans, and South Asia. Four key sociological themes were identified within the discourses of SDP officials, such as, the transnational ethics of SDP work, the anthropolitics of practice (notably in relation to user groups), the national and transnational 'interrelationships of SDP officials, and SDP officials' wider, transnational sector relationships. Various issues within each theme are identified and explored. The article concludes by reflecting on how analysis of these discourses serves to enhance understanding of transnational processes and the global civil society and, by suggesting some ways in which the SDP sector may be positively transformed.