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Questioning sport's role in uniting Lebanon


Questioning sport's role in uniting Lebanon

Danyel Reiche reflects critically on the role sport can play in bringing people together. He looks specifically at the case of Lebanon and challenges the underlying assumption that sport acts as an adhesive...

By examining how professional sport is organised in Lebanon, Danyel Reiche makes a bold contribution to the field of 'sport & peace'. He concludes that the patron-client relationship between politicians and sports clubs encourages teams to remain completely loyal and to show support for particular political parties and figures.

Reiche claims that the only way in which sport could have the potential to unite Lebanese society would be when Lebanon shifts from a sectarian state to a secular state.

Lebanon implements a confessional state system, allowing for the 18 recognised religious groups to be fairly represented in government. According to Reiche, this provides suitable breeding ground for competition between sects to foster, especially in professional men's football and basketball teams.

Reiche's comments are further developed in a recent article appearing in the Lebanese newspaper - the Daily Star. He has also recently published a peer-reviewed article in Third World Quarterly on the subject of 'the politics of sport in Lebanon as a unique case in comparative politics'.

More information
Read Danyel Reiche's article in the Daily Star
Find out more about Danyel Reiche's article in Third World Quarterly
Read an interview with Danyel Reiche in American University of Beirut student newspaper


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Usha Selvaraju


Monday, May 2, 2011 - 23:00

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