The history of SDP

Authored by: Rob Millington , Bruce Kidd

Routledge Handbook of Sport for Development and Peace

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138210486
eBook ISBN: 9781315455174
Adobe ISBN:


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Sport for development and peace (SDP) has been referred to as a ‘new’ social movement that has emerged as a strategy for realizing broad developmental objectives in the last three decades. Yet throughout recorded history, sport and physical activity have regularly been associated with notions of promoting ‘social good’. This chapter discusses the emergence and growth of SDP within this trajectory. It begins by placing SDP in the longer history of ‘sport for good’ so as to feature the ideological and programmatic antecedents of SDP today. It then briefly discusses the early internationalization of ‘sport for good’ through nineteenth and early twentieth-century colonialism and imperialism, its incorporation in human rights discourses via the United Nations in the second half of the twentieth century, and the global spread of non-governmental organizations and social movements employing sport in the twenty-first century. The chapter then turns to the emergence of SDP in the early 1990s, identifying the features that distinguish it from earlier forms of ‘sport for good’ and the social and political conditions that enabled its growth and influence. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the political and social issues facing SDP today, and offers some pressing questions for future avenues of research.

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