Nationalism and olympism: towards a normative theory of international sporting representation.
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Nationalism as a political ideology and as a reality of contemporary life has been subject to intense criticisms from a long line of liberal philosophers who believe that nationalism will always collapse into shallow expressions of blood, soil, and xenophobia. (2) Their reasons for and intensity of aversion towards nationalism are various. However, Blum's laconic quotation above seems to capture a common concern, namely that nationalism represses values and duties that are essential for human flourishing. (3) Some argue that in contemporary times, no phenomenon is as adept as international sporting competition at manifesting the ills of national identification. (4) This is reminiscent of George Orwell's assertion that sport had evolved to "war, minus the shooting." (5) Such views have found their proponents within the sporting world where it has, according to Hargreaves, become the dogmatic view that universal sporting movements like Olympism should not accommodate nationalism's particularistic nature. (6) Many adherents to the Olympic ideal believe that the strong associations between nationhood, patriotism, and elite sporting competition place nationalism at odds with the spirit of Olympism.
Iowerth, H., Jones, C. and Hardman, A. (2010) 'Nationalism and Olympism: Towards a normative theory of international sporting representation', Olympika: The International Journal of Olympic Studies, 19, pp.81-111
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