A Gendered Focused Review of Sports Diplomacy
Over the past two decades, research on the use of the concept ‘sports diplomacy’ has received growing attention from academics, public organisations, private organisations, and third sector organisations worldwide. However, the idea of sports diplomacy is contested. A prominent point of contestation is when voices from political, diplomatic, governance or business realms interpret the definition and function of sport in politics. A feature of both theoretical and practical aspects of sports diplomacy is a continued hegemony of men and male perspectives on the field and in practice. This chapter explores gendered understandings in academic literature and then applications of contemporary Australian and British sports diplomacy activities, such as leadership in sports organisations and partnership initiatives. Our chapter is based on two studies. Firstly, an integrated academic literature review of sports diplomacy and, secondly, responses from an online survey and interviews with Australian or British based individuals connected to the field. We offer evidence of the male-dominated field and practice of sports diplomacy, then analyse existing and future ways that sports diplomacy is (actively) rebalancing the gendered field, infrastructures, and programmes. The points raised throughout our chapter will challenge students, researchers, and practitioners to consider the gender aspect of dominant voices in the field and programmes interconnected around sports diplomacy.