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In the twentieth century sport was transformed from an amateur pastime to a global business and became an important tool for nations in the conduct international relations and diplomacy. This course will introduce students to the development of the international sports system and its modes of governance. It will consider the notion of an international sports law. It will explore the use of sport in international relations and diplomacy from the rise of totalitarian regimes in the 1930s to the present day.  Using a series of case studies, the course will consider themes such as sport as international diplomacy; international treaties related to sport; sporting boycotts, human rights; discrimination; violence; women in sport; sport as development aid; corruption in sport; among others. It will also examine international organisations such as the IOC, FIFA, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Main Topics

Sport, Spectacle and Diplomacy in Early Modern Europe

Soft Power and International Relations

The Governance Structures of International Sport

Totalitarian Regimes and the use of Sport in international relations

The use of sporting boycotts in internationals relations

Human rights and sport

Sport as development Aid

The Politics of Sport and intellectual Property and Ambush Marketing

Sweatshops and the Sports Apparel Industry

Sport and International Treaties

Intersection of International Law and Sport

The Court of Arbitration for Sport and the World Anti Doping Agency


Faculty Faculty of Law
Study Level


Offering Terms

Summer Term, Term 2



Indicative contact hours


Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:


Additional Information

This course is offered as General Education.

Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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