Call fo Papers | “Sport, Power and Politics: the challenges in a changing global structure” – the 2nd International Conference of the PSA Sport & Politics Group | University of Aveiro, Portugal, June 18–19, 2020. Call ends April 3, 2020

The Department of Social, Political and Territorial Sciences (DCSPT), University of Aveiro, is delighted to announce the Second International Conference of the PSA Sport & Politics Group. We are looking forward to welcoming you all to Aveiro and our university in June 2020.

DCSPT has been investing in the study and research of sport, and has been fostering the Sports, Power and Public Policy (SP3) research group, which has hosted two international seminars in 2019. Whereas this is still an incipient investigation area in our department, the organization of this international conference, in cooperation with an association as important as the Political Studies Association’s Sport and Politics Specialist Group, has a huge meaning for us.

For this reason, we are honoured by the trust placed by PSA Sport & Politics Group and, once again, we are very excited and looking forward to welcoming you all to the University of Aveiro June 18 and 19 2020.

Call for Abstracts – “Sport, Power and Politics: the challenges in a changing global structure”

Sport is one of the most dynamic, sociologically illuminating domains of globalization (Giulianotti & Robertson, 2004). Throughout the 20th century sports as a mass cultural phenomenon and mass spectacle (mega-events, commodification, disneyfication, etc.) has consolidated itself as a manifestation of international dimension. It is impossible to dissociate the history of modern sports from elements such as national pride, international prestige and diplomacy (Cha, 2016). Elite sports have long been used as a political tool, at the service of geopolitical and ideological strategies and, as Gupta puts it, also as a tool for exposing the country to the world (Gupta, 2009). It is no novelty to affirm that the economic, political and social roles of sports are focus of a great deal of attention in the politics and policymaking realm.

International sports have been traditionally dominated by the Western nations that monopolized the decision-making process of various international sporting bodies, determined the rules of the game and decided on the venues, television schedules and formats that the games would take (Gupta, 2009). The economic growth of emerging countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa gave rise to a new distribution of the world financial power. The acronym BRICS gained global recognition as cooperative links established among those countries grounded their (re)positioning in the geopolitical global settings. This development has also occurred in the sport related geopolitical context. A good illustration is provided by the simple observation that all the BRICS have hosted mega sporting events in recent years (Leite Júnior & Rodrigues, 2019). With the advent of globalization non-Western nations are increasingly asserting themselves in the decision making and economics of international sporting events (Gupta, 2009). This is also evident from the growing investments and sponsorships that have been made in international sport by state and non-state actors from non-Western countries (China, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan).

Sport, as one of the great cultural institutions (Giulianotti, 2010) reflects the social, political and economic context in which it finds itself. It seems pertinent, then, to observe how the rise of non-Western and emerging nations in the sports international stage, especially because of the money they bring to the game or the large fan bases, can help to understand the power struggles and the political and geopolitical aspects of a changing world. At the same time, we also note that we are experiencing times of change in world politics and society, with women’s empowerment increasingly becoming a reality, the fight against racial discrimination and inequality and gender bias, as well as the fight against social and economic inequalities that constrain the full development of much of humanity. That is why we chose “Sport, Power and Politics: the challenges in a changing global structure” as the theme of the Second International Conference of the PSA Sport & Politics Group.

We invite empirical, theoretical and methodological papers from postgraduate students, early-career researchers, established academics and practitioners that address and interrogate, from a critical and global perspective, cultural, social, political and experiential frameworks of sport. Contributions from disciplines of public policy, sociology, politics, economics, anthropology, cultural studies, history, communication, law and psychology are welcome. Possible themes include but are not limited to:

    • The Politics of Global Sport
    • Sport and Identity
    • Sport, Nationalism and Transnationalism
    • Sport Mega Events
    • Sports Policy and Governance
    • Inequality and/in Sport
    • Sport and Race
    • Sport and Gender
    • Sports Business and Sponsorship
    • Sports Law
    • Media and Sport
    • Contemporary Fandom and International Sports

Please send abstracts (300 words maximum) to by 23.59 on April 3 2020. We accept abstracts in English and Portuguese.

Please get in touch with Emanuel Leite Jr ( if you have any questions.

Conference fees

100€ attendance
75€ attendance for students
120€ attendance with conference dinner
95€ attendance with conference dinner for students

Keynote speakers

    • Pippo Russo, University of Florence
    • Richard Giulianotti, Loughborough University

The venue

The conference will take place in the Department of Social, Political and Territorial Sciences ( of the University of Aveiro (

Conference Dinner

The conference dinner will take place in the restaurant Cais da Tosca.

For the conference homepage,

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