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FIFA Whistleblower at Foreign Policy School

9 June 2006
FIFA Whistleblower to Speak at Foreign Policy School

Influence of big-money world of sport on global politics focus of Otago conference

Sport’s influence on foreign policy will be scrutinised by leading academics, a senior UN advisor close to Kofi Annan, and an award-winning journalist and documentary maker at the 41st University of Otago Foreign Policy School later this month.

The line-up of speakers for the conference entitled Sport & Foreign Policy in a Globalizing World includes investigative reporter Andrew Jennings whose books on corruption in the Olympic movement have earned him a widespread following and notoriety.

His latest title Foul! blows the whistle on bribes, vote rigging and ticket scandals in FIFA, whose officials have tried to delay publication of the book.

Foreign Policy School co-directors Associate Professor Steven Jackson, from the School of Physical Education and Stephen Haigh from the Department of Political Studies say the topic reflects the way that the strong links between sport and state affairs are increasingly acknowledged by high-level policymakers in many governments.

“Sport is big business and the money it generates exerts a major influence in world politics,” says Assoc. Prof Jackson.

“Football World Cups, the Olympics and other sporting events that walk the world stage all become backdrops to high level bargaining and diplomacy. The money and therefore power generated by these events can’t be underestimated.

“Wars have started over football matches and many countries derive their national identity from their sporting teams. And then there are issues surrounding the way sportspeople have become commodities that are in demand. We only need to look at the way that New Zealand loses some of its best sailors and rugby players offshore to see that.”

The school will also examine the way smaller states are looking to exploit increasing economic and cultural globilisation by hosting significant ‘second-order’ events, such as the Rugby World Cup.

Assoc. Prof Jackson says the Foreign Policy School is fortunate to have attracted top quality international speakers to explore the way sport and state interests are converging.

Andrew Jennings will be joined by former Swiss President Adolf Ogi, who is now UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, and a number of other international commentators who specialise in the economic and cultural dimensions of sport, its role in the spread of democracy, human rights and other ideals, and the foreign policy implications of its ever-expanding international presence.

The 41st University of Otago Foreign Policy School will run from Friday 23 June to Monday 26 June at Salmond Hall, Dunedin.


Conference speakers and provisional topics

Mr Adolf Ogi - Former President of Switzerland; currently Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on Sport for Development and Peace.
“The UN and Sport for Development and Peace”

Associate Professor David Black - Chair of the Department of International Development Studies and Associate Professor of Political Studies, Dalhousie University, Canada
“Dreaming Big: The pursuit of 'second order' games as a strategic response to globalisation.”

Professor Susan Brownell - Anthropology, Fellow of the Center for International Studies, University of Missouri, St Louis, United States
“China, Sport, and Foreign Policy”

Dr Scarlett Cornelissen - Senior Lecturer, Political Science, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
“Framing the nation: sport mega-events as political project in post-apartheid South Africa”

Professor Robert Redeker - Philosophy, Lycee Pierre-Paul Riquet de Saint-Orens de Gameville, Toulouse, France
“The Myth and Illusion of Sport as a Tool of Foreign Diplomacy”

Professor Peter Donnelly - Director of the Centre for Sport Policy, University of Toronto, Canada
“Sport and Human Rights”

Associate Professor David Gerrard – Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago
“Playing Foreign Policy Games: States, Drugs and Other Olympian Vices”

Dr Brendan Hokowhitu - Te Tumu, School of Mäori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, University of Otago
Exoticising the Bicultural: New Zealand Foreign Policy, Sport and the Bicultural Nation”

Mr Andrew Jennings - Investigative reporter, writer and filmmaker
“Sport, Foreign Policy and Corruption within FIFA and the IOC”

Professor Bruce Kidd - Faculty of Physical Education and Health, University of Toronto, Canada
“Sport, International Development and Foreign Policy”

Mr Chris Laidlaw - Writer, Broadcaster, Wellington
“Summation”

Professor Joseph Maguire - Loughborough University, United Kingdom
“Globalisation, Sport Migration and Foreign Policy”

Professor Wolfram Manzenreiter - Department of East Asian Studies, Vienna University, Austria
“Football Diplomacy in the East Asian postcolonial world – Japan’s quest for normal state status and regional integration in the North Pacific”

Professor Kristine Toohey - Sport Management, Griffith University, Australia “International Sport, Terrorism and Foreign Policy”

Dr Xin Xu - International Relations, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan and currently visiting Research Fellow, Princeton University, U.S.A.
“Olympic Games as Foreign Policy tool: the Case of China and Taiwan”

Foreign Policy School website: www.otago.ac.nz/OtagoFPS

ENDS

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