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Responder or promoter? Investigating the role of nation-state in globalization: The case of China's strategies in the global wushu movement

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journal contribution
posted on 24.05.2022, 10:32 authored by Chien-Chun Tzeng, Tien-Chin Tan, Alan BairnerAlan Bairner

This study examines how wushu, as a folk sport in China, has been promoted globally by a nation-state. Identifying the Global Wushu Movement (GWM) as an East-to-West diffusion and a political and cultural phenomenon, our analytical framework is based on that of globalization as proposed by Houlihan (1994, 2016) and Held et al. (1999). Our particular focus is on the ‘nation-state’, notably its role in activating the GWM and whether it is a responder to or a promoter of global sporting culture. Data was collected from both documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews involving a total of twenty key stakeholders. Findings reveal that some of China's strategies prove that it is a responder to the Olympic Movement. Other strategies demonstrate that China, as the promoter of the GWM, has its own agenda to influence the international sporting realm. More specifically, the state is indeed affected by globalization which can also be managed by the state. This is because, to some extent, while China accepted the Olympic value, it has also transformed a part of its own traditional culture (wushu) and exported it via the International Wushu Federation (IWUF) as the façade. Conceptually, the duality of China's strategies in the case of GWM implies the emergence of reverse globalization.


Ministry of Science and Technology in Taiwan (Grant Number MOST 105-2410-H-003-045-)



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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International Review for the Sociology of Sport


SAGE Publications


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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Prof Alan Bairner. Deposit date: 23 May 2022