Sport for Peace : exploring the contribution of sport to cohabitation in a divided society

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för freds- och konfliktforskning

Author: Tim Driessen; [2021]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: Sport-for-peace programs rely on sport and contact in order to contribute to intergroup reconciliation efforts and a peaceful society. This thesis asks ‘how contact in a sport-for-peace program influences the willingness to live together in a deeply divided society’? Specifically, this thesis poses that more years of intergroup contact (hypothesis 1) and a better quality of intergroup contact (hypothesis 2) will lead to more willingness to live together. This research is based on a unique theoretical framework that relies on contact theory and is grounded in a relational peace framework. It is suggested that (quantity and quality) of contact improve the intergroup relationships within a sport-for-peace program which, in turn, improves participants’ willingness for cohabitation. A mixed method design is used in this study, drawing on unique survey data for logistic regression and the analysis of semi-structured interviews. Results give little support for hypothesis 1, but support hypothesis 2. This study found that especially the quality of contact in a sport-for-peace program is a good predictor for willingness to live together, and that this relationship is primarily driven by the extent to which the intergroup contact is considered pleasant by participants. 

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