Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Sport for peace in Northern Ireland? Civil society, change and constraint after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement
Authors: Mitchell, David
Somerville, Ian J. A.
Hargie, Owen D. W.
First Published: 6-Jul-2016
Publisher: Sage
Citation: The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 2016, 18 (4), pp. 981-996
Abstract: Using the case of Northern Ireland, this article examines how post-conflict transition impacts sports organisations which have traditionally underpinned societal division, and what factors facilitate or restrain such organisations fulfilling peacebuilding functions. The article identifies three peacebuilding functions of sport: in-group socialisation, promoting social cohesion, and symbolically representing new identities. Then, after outlining the sporting and political context in Northern Ireland, the article explores changes within the sporting environment stemming from the peace process as well as persistent socio-political barriers to sport’s capacity to encourage reconciliation and integration, especially symbolic contestation and territorial segregation. The analysis draws on a public attitudes survey (n = 1210) conducted by the authors as part of a major government-funded study. The findings demonstrate the potential of the three peacebuilding functions of sport, yet also, crucially, the constraints imposed by the distinct and divided political context. Avenues for further and comparative research are identified.
DOI Link: 10.1177/1369148116656987
ISSN: 1369-1481
eISSN: 1467-856X
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © Sage Publications, 2016. This version of the article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License ( ), which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Media and Communication

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Sport for peace in NI - BJPIR - Mitchell, Somerville and Hargie.pdfPost-review (final submitted author manuscript)268.36 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in LRA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.