Nationalism, Internationalism and Global Sport
5th February 2014
'Why does the partisan choice between Real Madrid and Barcelona affect the identity of millions in North Africa, the Middle East and beyond? How does the India- Pakistan cricket rivalry remain salient in a world of ‘globalised’ sport? Why doesn’t North America enjoy the same sports as the rest of the world?’
Mike Marqusee seeks to explain the phenomena of ‘globalised’ spectator sport through examining its origins. He argues that the trans-national, trans-cultural tendency, universal rules and theoretically ‘level playing field’ shared by capitalism and sport have joint origins in 18th century England. From here, he looks at the effects of market driven ‘globalised’ spectator sport on identities and loyalties and asks how, despite this, national identity remains salient and, increasingly, financially valuable. He also addresses the issue of American exceptionalism, and how this is reflected in the bifurcation between North American sports and those preferred by the rest of the world.
Ultimately, he asks if there is a sporting internationalism that can be posed against the corporate globalisation of sport, and what the elements of that might be.
Mike Marqusee is a Journalist and activist. He writes widely on sport, politics and their interaction. He is the former editor of Left-Wing Briefing. He has since published widely on the politics of sport. Notable publications include: ‘War Minus the Shooting: a journey through South Asia during cricket’s World Cup’ (1996), ‘Anyone But England: an outsider looks at English cricket’ (1994) and ‘Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the spirit of the sixties’ (2000).
A podcast of this event is available here.