Call for Papers | Leisure Studies Special Issue | Human Rights in Events, Leisure and Sport

Guest editors:

“Steps of the Devil”: Denial of Women’s and Girls’ Rights to Sport in Saudi Arabia. The female basketball team of Jeddah United warm up in Jordan on April 21, 2009. Jeddah United is the only private sports company with women’s teams.

Human rights have long been ingrained in the ethico-moral, legal and cultural fabric of the international community, and in purportedly shared visions of a global future characterised by the pursuit of freedom, justice and peace for all. Yet, over a half-century on from the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), such utopian visions remain fraught with controversy, critique and gross violation when hostile state sovereignties, anti-immigration politics and terrorism have had starkly inhumane consequences for minority groups and displaced peoples across the world. Conversely, this too is a time that has seen NGO’s and civil advocacy groups actively championing human rights as their lingua franca in the fight against the exploitative undercurrents of global capitalist expansion, and an ever-deepening tide of social injustice and inequality.

Few arenas of socio-political life better capture this fundamental tension than those of leisure and sport, where high profile international and global events—as a microcosm of late capitalist entertainment industries at large—have become key sites through which human rights issues and abuses are exposed, contested and at times transformed. To date, however, despite a growing number of leisure and sport scholars engaging with the politics of human rights and civil activism, an integrated scholarly platform has remained elusive. This Special Issue of Leisure Studies, the first of its kind in the field, aims to provide an international platform for critical academic inquiry on the intersections between leisure and sport and human rights.

We invite inter-disciplinary submissions that critically engage with the politics of leisure and sport in official human rights instruments, discourse  and praxis, and which shed new light on the historical and philosophical conditions within which the protection and promotion of human rights is made possible. We also invite original contributions from scholars whose empirical research engages with the everyday debates surrounding sport, leisure and human rights in situ, and which deepens our knowledge of how human rights intersect with the struggle against new forms of social inequality, injustice, discrimination and exploitation across the contemporary world.

This Special Issue aims to:

  • Encourage inter-disciplinary critical analyses of the intersections between human rights policy and praxis, and events, leisure or sport research.
  • Document rigorous scholarship which critically engages with the universal instruments and ideologies, cultural paradoxes and contradictions, of human rights as they manifest in, and variously shape, the consumption and politics of events, leisure or sport.
  • Provide a world leading and original collection of articles that shed light on the contemporary significance of events, leisure or sport in offering a ‘window’ onto some of the most profound dilemmas, questions and challenges facing human rights praxis.
  • Ascertain an agenda-setting analysis of the promises and pitfalls of a human rights approach, exploring how allied forms of civil protest, advocacy and activism are serving to (re)shape the organisation, production and consumption of events, leisure or sport.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Human rights, cultural relativism and leisure/sport
  • Sport and the European Convention on Human Rights
  • Human rights and international sports governance
  • Globalised leisure/sport business and human rights
  • Athlete rights, and social media
  • Children’s rights, work/leisure and play
  • Events/leisure/sport and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
  • Events/leisure/sport and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Mega events and the rights of indigenous peoples
  • Human rights, event/sport sponsorship, the environment and sustainability
  • Civil disobedience and events as protest and civil activism
  • Transforming human rights through events, leisure or sport praxisResisting the globalisation and colonisation of sport/leisure through human rights praxis

Submission details

All manuscripts must be submitted by 31st August 2016. This includes original papers of 7,000 words and research notes of 4,000 words. For submission details go to the Leisure Studies home page.

For inquiries and/or further information please contact the editors, Dr Jayne Caudwell and Dr Darragh McGee

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