Making World(s). Sport Globalization & Olympism", 27th International CESH (European Committee for Sport History) Congress

Making World(s). Sport Globalization & Olympism", 27th International CESH (European Committee for Sport History) Congress

European Committee for Sports History (CESH )
Takes place
In Attendance
From - Until
04.06.2024 - 06.06.2024
Connections Redaktion, Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics, Universität Leipzig

The 27th International Congress of the European Committee for Sports History (CESH) is organized from June 4 to 6, 2024 by two laboratories of the Université Paris Nanterre: ISP (Institute of Social Sciences of Politics, UMR 7220) and IDHE.S (Institutions and Historical Dynamics of Economy and Society, UMR 8533). On the eve of the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games, this symposium aims to examine the creation of sporting worlds through the relationship between sport, Olympism and globalization.

Making World(s). Sport Globalization & Olympism", 27th International CESH (European Committee for Sport History) Congress

The Congress will take place over three consecutive days, from Tuesday June 4, 2024, to Thursday June 6, 2024. On the first day, Tuesday June 4, 2024, the scientific event will be held at the Centre de Colloques on the Condorcet Campus in Aubervilliers, before continuing the following two days, Wednesday June 05 and Thursday June 06, 2024, at Paris Nanterre University in the Max Weber (ISP, IDHES) and Alice Milliat (UFR STAPS) buildings.

"The most important thing is for national propaganda to keep pace with the new conditions created, if such language can be used, by the "globalization" of all things. What's essential is that, without delay, in the right places, a living flame replaces the dying reflection".
(P. de Coubertin, Le Figaro, December 13, 1904)

While the word "mondialisation" entered the French language in the early 1980s, it was first used by Pierre de Coubertin, in an article in Le Figaro, entitled "Le flambeau à sept branches", dated December 13, 1904 (Capdepuy, 2014; Markovits, Singaravélou, Todd, 2021). In this respect, sport appears to be an early player in the cultural dimension of globalization, long before it became part of the economic logic of the phenomenon.

Following the discovery of America and the rise of transatlantic trade, globalization accelerated in the 19th century, from its anchor in Victorian England, the leading imperial and commercial power. It was relayed by the planetary influence of the Western powers, and manifested in the intensification of cultural, social, political and economic exchanges.
The globalization of sport was first studied by geographers (Bale, 2003; Augustin, 2007; Holz, 2011) and economists (Bourg, 2010; Andreff, 2021), then by sociologists and anthropologists (Harvey & Saint-Germain, 1995; Appadurai, 1996), and finally by historians who initially focused on political, diplomatic (Gygax, 2013; Dichter & Jones, 2014; Murray, 2018; Rofe, 2018; Postlethwaite & al., 2023) and international relations (Houlihan, 1994; Arnaud & Riordan, 1997; Allison, 2005; Keys, 2009; Giulianotti & Armstrong, 2011).
Then, historical works dedicated to sport and Olympism (Guttmann, 1978, 1992; Milza, 2002; Arnaud, 2002; Milza, Jéquier, Tétart, 2004), first studied the development and spread of modern sports (Maguire, 1999; Darbon, 1995) under the effects of colonization (Baker & Mangan, 1987; Mangan, 1998), imperialism (Stoddart, 1988; Guttmann, 1994; Gems, 2006; Singaravélou & Sorez, 2010), nationalism (Bairner, 2001; Grainger & Andrews, 2005; Stoddart, 2009; Archambault, Beaud, & Gasparini, 2016), geopolitics (Augustin & Gillon, 2004) and developments in transport that intensified global exchanges (Galtung, 1991).

However, all did not always agree on the existence of globalization, or on a distinct historical phase (Lanfranchi, Taylor, 2001), or even on the fact that this phenomenon can influence sport (Rowe, 2003; Giulianotti & Robertson, 2007). The congress can provide an opportunity to discuss scientific debates on the periodization of sport globalization, as proposed by the sociologies of dependence and configurations, taking a long-term view (Maguire, 2006). This scientific moment also offers an opportunity to highlight the crystallization of positions between defenders, skeptics and reformists (Held & al., 1999) of the globalization of sport through studies conducted by, on the one hand, "experts" (in geopolitics, sport management, journalism, finance, etc.) and, on the other hand, researchers specializing in the social sciences of sport (historians, sociologists, political scientists, economists, etc.).
While some researchers believe that the phenomenon began at the dawn of the twentieth century, between 1870 and 1920 (Maguire & al., 2002), others, inspired by the new political economy (Harvey, Houle, 1994) and Cultural studies (Miller & al., 2001), consider the globalization of sport to be more recent. The latter situate its onset after the Second World War, distinguishing its advent from economic and cultural imperialism.

Be that as it may, the globalization of sport has been the subject of numerous studies - some authors even list them (Gems & Pfister, 2013 ; Rahal, Campillo, Richard, 2021) - which analyze this complex phenomenon, with its many issues and ramifications, as it is traversed by long-term processes (Bairner, 2001) such as the progress of the democratic ideal, the development of mass culture (Arbena, 1988; Holt, 1990), the affirmation of feminist demands (Hargreaves, 2015) or the expression of male domination (McDevitt, 2008). Lastly, globalization is criss-crossed by such landmark historical events as the Cold War (Edelman & Young, 2020; Dufraisse, 2023), post-colonization (Bale & Cronin, 2003; Bancel & al., 2018), doping (Houlihan, 2003), the development of sporting cultures (Fuhua, 2013), ecology and Olympism (Cantelon & Letters, 2000) or the development of sport for peace (Hoberman, 2011), etc.
Although based on the increasingly numerous and rapid interactions between individuals, human societies, companies, states and NGOs, the globalization of sport does not only result in the standardization of cultural practices, techniques and the values associated with them (Sudre & Genty, 2014). It also opens up to relations of interdependence, adaptation of global characteristics to local requirements (glocalization) (Harvey, 2013; Falcous & Maguire, 2006), reconfiguration, resistance, and differentiated appropriations by actors with varied ambitions and resources (Heinmann, 2010).

They raise questions by highlighting the tensions between local realities and global trends: what are the effects of Americanization and/or Westernization on sporting practices? What issues are driving nations and states to make sport a global phenomenon? How do multinational firms link up with the sporting world to develop their brands? Do the military and religion see sport as a medium for disseminating their actions and values? How do media discourses contribute to the global dissemination of sport? To what extent do NGOs have an interest in development through sport? Finally, can the Olympic movement constitute a world, or is it the creation of interacting sporting worlds (International Olympic Committee, International Sports Federations, National Olympic Committees, etc.)?
These are only some of the questions that the congress will address, with the aim of improving our understanding of the interactions between individuals and groups that shape more or less interdependent worlds, the dynamics of which set the pace for the globalization of sport and Olympism (Young, Wamsley, 2005). Thus, the analytical approach favoured by this congress will pay particular attention to the multiple ways, situations and (re)configurations of making (worlds) (Becker, 1982, 1986) of sport and Olympism - be they cultural, political, social or geographical; in relationships of complementarity or conflict (Harvey, Rail and Thibault, 1996) - which enable us to apprehend the historical process of globalization and its variations in space, societies or in terms of scales of analysis.

Congress themes
1. Diffusion, circulation & mediatization of sport
The aim is to examine the worldwide diffusion of sport, its conditions of reception and circulation (bodies, values, knowledge, techniques) and its mediatization, in order to understand the forms of homogenization and/or resistance induced by colonization and imperialism, the construction of normative discourses and discrimination (gender, disability, etc.).
2. Individuals, communities & sporting identities
The globalization of sport contributes to the creation of sporting worlds by individuals and/or communities - sometimes imagined - with plural identities and diverse representations, in situations of cooperation and/or conflict, such as long-distance supporterism or sport as an instrument of community identity claims and nationalism.
3. Institutions, internationalization & transnationalization of sport
Globalized sport is also shaped by sporting (and non-sporting) institutions that produce a world of sport through the national, via politics, diplomacy, international relations and economics; whether to develop a brand associated with the image of a sportsman/sportswoman, impose its hegemony in the Cold War or develop peace through sport.
4. Sporting interdependencies between the local and the global: homogenization/resistance
The universality of sport also calls into question the confrontation between the worlds that make it up, through the interpenetration of the local and the global, prompting us to analyze these multiple adaptations as part of the process of acculturation, mimicry, reappropriation and sportivization of sporting practices, or when a locality hosts a world sporting event.
5. Making the worlds of sport and the Olympics
Finally, we'll be looking at the nature and coherence of relations between (sporting and non-sporting) institutions in the creation of sporting and Olympic worlds, such as those between amateur and professional sport, and between the International Olympic Committee and its component parts, the International Sports Federations and the National Olympic Committees.
6. Other themes

Guidelines for paper proposals (abstracts)
• Abstracts may be submitted in the language of each participant. If English is not the language used, we ask you to add a version of the abstract in English.
• All proposals for abstracts must include: title, objectives/research questions, methodology, sources and materials, results.
• Maximum length 350 words
• Times New Roman font
• Font size 12
• Justified text 1.5 line spacing
• Five key words
• Indicate two thematic axes the proposal fits in
• A short biography of the author(s) (status, institutional and scientific affiliation and email address).

Paper proposals can be submitted solely on the congress website, “Abstract submission” tag:
If you encounter a problem you can contact us: and/or

Panel Submission
Researchers are encouraged to submit a panel proposal of three or four papers. To do so, the panel's communicators must submit each paper proposal via the congress website. A panel coordinator must send an e-mail to the organizer specifying the content of the panel as well as a short presentation of the panel and the communicators. The deadline for submissions is also February 29, 2024.

All communicators must be CESH members for the year 2024. Payment of annual fees for CESH members can be made via the CESH website:
Congress registration fees can be paid via the congress website ("Registration & Payment" tab):
Registration fees for the 27th International CESH Congress at Université Paris Nanterre are (which you can find in the "Registration prices" section of the congress website):

Registration fees
Early registration: March 1st to April 30, 2024
Late registration: May 1st to June 3rd, 2024

Phd holders (lecturers, associate professors, etc.)
150 euros (early registration)
180 euros (late registration)

Doctors & doctoral students
80 euros (early registration)
110 euros (late registration)

Accompagnying persons & students (Master's, Bachelor's degrees)
50 euros (early registration)
70 euros (late registration)

Payment of registration fees will only be made once your abstract has been returned (after the return of the expertise process).

After receiving a positive response from the expert appraisal of your communication summary, the payment of registration fee will then be possible via the "registration" tab on the congress website, from March 1st, 2024 (for accompanying persons and students, who are not subject to prior notification of the submission of their abstract, payment of registration fees will also be possible from March 1st, 2024).

NB: Congress registration fees do not include accommodation and transport for speakers and participants.

Registration fees include for holders, doctoral students and PhDs: lunches, coffee breaks, gala dinner, goodies, access to the book of abstracts/program of the congress (digital and/or paper version), participation in all academic parts of the congress and cultural events.

Registration fees include for accompanying persons and students: lunches, coffee breaks, congress program, access to the abstract book/program in digital version, congress scientific activities and cultural events.

For all information and questions relating to the organization of the 27th International CESH Congress at Paris Nanterre University, please contact: or/and

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