Exploring the growth of the commonwealth games

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Whilst there has been understandable interest in the Olympic Garnes as asporting mega-event, the importance of 'second-tier' or 'second-order' games, such as, for example, the Pan-American Games and the Commonwealth Garnes, are now being examined with increasing interest due to the associated planning and management, and mediation of concomitant cultural meanings plus the rich seam of information that is still underdeveloped in academic study (Black 2008, 2014; Black and Peacock 2011, Curi et al. 2011). As Carter (2011: 132) pertinently asks 'Where are the Pan American Games, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games and other spectacles in our productions of the sociological knowledge about sport-related mega events?'. For Houlihan (1994: 138), the significance of the Commonwealth Garnes within a pattern of international relations was assessed: first, in terms of the importance of the Games to the Commonwealth; second, in terms of the value of the Games as a vehicle for the diplomatic ambitions of Common: wealth members, and; third, in terms of the relationship between Commonwealth sports bodies and other international non-governmental organisations in sport, in particular, major international federations. This chapter revisits these points with the hindsight of over twenty years. It further analyses the extent to which the ongoing/recurring debate about the future and viability of the Commonwealth Games by considering the extent to which sport events take place within complex patterns of international relations: a topic often neglected in academic study. Towards the end, this chapter notes the responses of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) to the constantly evolving role of sport within international relations and its need for organisational change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransforming Sport: Knowledges, Practices, Structures
EditorsDaniel Burdsey, Thomas Carter, Mark Doidge
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781315167909
ISBN (Print)9781138052246
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2018


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