Category Sport

Does international sport defang nationalism?

David Papineau has written a piece arguing that international sporting events like the ongoing Winter Olympics can encourage “a better kind of nationalism”. In his view, “international sport can’t help but boost understanding and counteract chauvinism”. This, he claims, is because all sporting contests imply recognition of the other side as moral equals. It presupposes […]

Who overperforms at the Paralympics? (Guest post by Will Damazer)

Countries invest their resources into individuals to find Olympic glory, perhaps with the hope of inspiring athletic activity at the grassroots level or even to boost public morale. It’s an expensive investment that needs a large talent pool, and as a result countries with a larger GDP (i.e. those that are richer and/or have a […]

How big is the Olympic host country boost, and how long does it last?

With the Olympics in full flow, there’s been a lot of talk about the benefits of hosting the games for a country’s on-field performance. The BBC’s More or Less reported analysis showing that being the current or next host is one of the best predictors of how many medals a country will win. The UK’s […]

Is it cos Sturridge is black? A call for research on race and football

Sachin Nakrani posted a thoughtful and thought-provoking article over the weekend asking why Daniel Sturridge is received with so little affection, despite being one of (I would say the) the most talented and prolific English footballers of his generations. Nakrani tentatively raised the possibility that it is because of his race. Not so much due […]

The Banal Nationalism of Olympic coverage

The Olympics are invariably a troubling time for those wary of the excesses of patriotism and nationalism. This time around the BBC’s coverage of the games has been singled out as reflecting a narrow concern for promoting the glory of the British athletes, and failing to draw sufficient attention to the successes of other countries. […]