Laurence Cooley
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The governance of sport in deeply divided societies
Actors and institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus and Northern Ireland
in Sport and diplomacy
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This chapter seeks to address the question of how sport is governed in societies that are deeply divided along ethnic, religious or other lines. The chapter focuses on three case studies: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus and Northern Ireland. It argues that, in each of these cases, the institutions that have been employed in order to manage relations between groups in the governance of sport are more integrative than those that have been employed at the broader political level, where accommodation or outright division are the norm. The chapter explores the nature of these institutions and examines the role of a range of actors involved in their establishment. In particular, the chapter highlights the rhetorical impact that claims about the unifying experience of sport have on relevant actors' perceptions of how it should be governed. It also questions whether the integrative approach taken in the three case studies is part of a deliberate conflict management strategy or whether it is instead simply a product of the more technocratic concerns of international and regional governing bodies.

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