UBC Theses and Dissertations
(Post)political power and international sport : examining the International Olympic Committee's journey to Permanent Observer status at the United Nations Van Luijk, Nicolien
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United Nations (UN) have had an ongoing relationship over the past 80 years that culminated in granting the IOC Permanent Observer status at the UN General Assembly in 2009. This is an honor usually reserved for quasi-states and inter-governmental organizations: very rarely do non-governmental organizations (NGO) obtain this position. This dissertation critically examined the links between the IOC and the UN in a bid to gain an understanding of how and why the IOC obtained this status at the UN. Four research questions guided this study: (i) How, and in what contexts, has the UN engaged with the IOC in the past; (ii) Why/how is the UN currently engaging with the IOC; (iii) How/Why did the IOC obtain Permanent Observer status at the UN General Assembly; and (iv) What are the potential implications of the partnership between the IOC and the UN? In my pursuit of these questions, I drew in particular from the work of Dorothy Smith and Michel Foucault to aid my underlying examination of how forms of knowledge are socially constructed in ways that privilege some groups over others. The work of these theorists supported my attempts to contribute especially to the emerging field of research focused on inequitable power relations within and around the Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) ‘movement’. My findings demonstrated that there were various factors at play that have influenced the relationship between these two organizations, including the neoliberalization of development, the global power of sport, and processes of legitimation for both the IOC and the UN.
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada