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Using sport as a tool to promote peace and reduce conflict

New research critically examines the use of sport to promote co-existence and social development in fractured societies

United Kingdom, 15 November 2013 - Love it or hate it, sport plays an important role in modern society and, as a universal language, it can act as a powerful tool, helping to promote peace, tolerance and understanding by uniting people from different cultures and religions.

The remarkable, but often under-acknowledged, power of sport is showcased by five new research papers published in a special issue of the Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, guest edited by Yair Galily of the Wingate Institute Zinman College, Israel. The studies, from various different countries and continents, demonstrate the power and cultural significance of sport and how it can be employed to contribute to the building of networks, the enhancement of cultural traditions, the acquisition of skills and the overall empowerment of communities. The issue, entitled, ‘Sport and Aggression’ can be freely read until 13 December 2013 by visiting 

In ‘The effects of three Israeli sports programmes on attitudes of Arabs and Jews towards one and other’, three separate research studies were carried out which found that feelings of hatred and mistrust among Palestinians, Jordanians and Israelis can be greatly reduced by playing sport together.

In ‘Building from Beslan: examining an NGO community sport initiative in Russia and its capacity to promote peace amongst victims of terrorism’, football is found to have beneficial outcomes for child survivors of a terrorist attack. However, the use of sport for peace promotion and other forms of social involvement is shown to be reliant on a variety of components, including the design and implementation of projects and the quality of staff.

Further studies include an examination of the claims made for the potential of sports, such as cricket, to reduce social conflict and engender peace in places such as Afghanistan, a critical exploration of the implications of the Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement through the lens of sport, and an examination of a sport development project used to engage an Aboriginal community.

‘Sport and Aggression' is published as Volume 5, Issue 4 of the Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, which investigates the dynamics and evolution of conflict and resolution, as well as exploring peace research. The journal publishes a broad range of research on physical and sexual aggression, ranging from individual levels of aggression to mass aggression, including genocide and terrorism. More information can be found at

The Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research is one of 31 titles in the Health and Social Care collection published by Emerald Group Publishing:

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About Emerald

Emerald is a global publisher linking research and practice to the benefit of society. The company manages a portfolio of more than 290 journals and over 2,000 books and book series volumes, and also provides an extensive range of online products and additional customer resources and services.

Emerald is both COUNTER 3 and TRANSFER compliant. The organization is a partner of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and also works with Portico and the LOCKSS initiative for digital archive preservation.

Ashley Ridsdale
Corporate Communications Executive | Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Tel: +44 (0)1274 785213
Twitter: @EmeraldGlobal | @EmeraldHSC
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