Call for Papers | Sport and Diplomacy: Message, Mode and Metaphor? | July 3–4, 2015

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS, University of London
Hosted by Dr J Simon Rofe (SOAS, University of London)

Keynote Presentation by Professor Alan Tomlinson (University of Brighton),
author of FIFA – The Men, The Myths and the Money (Routledge 2014).


As an enduring and almost ubiquitous part of modern life, sport has a powerful capacity to touch individuals and societies around the world in ways that traditional forms of diplomacy and diplomats rarely can. Sporting competition always carries social and political messages for these audiences; at times these are simple even vulgar,  at times complex, subtle and mixed. Sport’s modes of operation – not only as participation and mass entertainment, but as an increasingly global business generating economic benefits for and linkages between a broad range of actors – have deep consequences for the ambitions, practices and outcomes of diplomacy.  Sport is also a metaphor for competing identities within polities at all levels. Nowhere has the diffusion and redistribution of political and economic power in our globalizing world had more visibility than in international sport.

After many years of relative neglect, the realm of sport diplomacy is attracting renewed scholarly attention. The colloquium is deliberately aimed at welcoming colleagues and students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds.

The colloquium has the broad aim to explore the relationship between sport and diplomacy at all levels. It does so under the following suggested themes (other suggestions are welcome):

  • Sport and Conflict & Conflict Resolution
  • Sport and Non-State Actors
  • International Organisations and Sporting Federations
  • Sport, Development and Diplomacy
  • International Sport, Money and Global Media

The leading papers from the colloquium will be published in a Special Edition of Diplomacy and Statecraft in 2016.

The deadline for paper proposals of no more than 400 words is Friday January 16th, 2014.

There will be NO registration fees for the invited presenters and a limited amount of funding will be provided also to cover travel and accommodation. Food and incidentals will be provided throughout the event.

Please send all proposals, and any queries, to Dr J Simon Rofe at

This CfP is available as a pd-flier.

Subject to confirmation

Lords: The Home of Cricket. Sunday 5th July – A trip for interested participants will be organised to Lords Cricket Ground to visit the ground in its 201st year of operation and the MCC Museum; also, subject to fixtures (and the weather), to enjoy some play.

The colloquium will be hosted by Global Diplomacy students from the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS, University of London, who will be welcome delegates to the colloquium, and all discussions will be made available to students as podcasts.

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