In recent years, sport has been acknowledged by a broad range of organisations as a viable tool to promote peace in highly volatile contexts. Acknowledging the complexity and myriad of issues that shape and define the Colombian and Northern Irish struggles, this article explores the use of sport to advance peace-building as seen through the lenses of the personnel involved in designing, supporting and implementing sport-based peace interventions (SDP officials) in both regions. This paper found points of commonality and divergence between Colombia and Northern Ireland showing that the unique conflict dynamics in both cases have played a major role in shaping the perceptions of SDP officials with regards to the peace-building dimension of sport, their role as drivers of change and the structure and content of sport for development and peace programs.

Author Bio(s)

Alexander Cárdenas is a researcher and consultant in the area of sport for development and peace. He received a PhD in peace, conflict and development studies from University Jaume I in Spain and has been affiliated with INCORE, the International Conflict Research Institute in Derry (UK) as a Marie Curie Research Fellow in Sustainable Peace Building, an initiative of the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme.


peace building; sport for development and peace; Colombia; Northern Ireland; sport

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