JWCS: Special Issue on War, Peace, and Sport

The Journal of War and Culture Studies seeks submissions for a special issue exploring the relationship between war, peace and sport from the nineteenth century to the present day. At various points in human history, but most notably perhaps in the late nineteenth century, sport has been conceived as a means of preparing young, usually male bodies and minds for combat. Indeed, it is no coincidence that the nineteenth century also bore witness to the rise of nationalism; physical education in many Western European nations, for example, often bore a deliberate resemblance to military training. The nation state and the two processes (the development of sports and national cultures) have often been linked by historians of the era. Almost simultaneously, however, sport was promoted as the antithesis of war and as a peaceable, mutually beneficial contact zone between cultures. Sport was also able to become a cornerstone of several internationalist movements of the twentieth century. Thanks to sport’s seemingly paradoxical nature, offering a simulacrum of war through ritualised competition, the Olympics could become a simultaneous celebration of international understanding and of national, but also, in the Cold War, ideological rivalries. To this day, and around the globe, the language and rituals of many sports and their associated cultural practices continue to be influenced by the adversarial structures of warfare whilst being promoted as regulated encounters that promote mutual understanding and tolerance.Journal of War and Culture Studies invites submissions of individual articles of up to 8000 words that explore the complex relationship between war, peace and sport in culture. Articles might focus on one or more of the following indicative themes:

  • Class conflict and sport
  • National identity and sport
  • Internationalism and sport
  • Sport and cultures of pacifism 
  • Sport, propaganda & anti-militarist activism
  • Martial masculinity and sports culture
  • The military sporting body
  • Civil-military relationships within sporting cultures
  • Cold War sporting rivalries
  • Sport in wartime
  • Physical education within military culture.

Submissions Instructions

Submissions are invited from all fields of the Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences and from researchers at all career stages.  Potential contributors are welcome to discuss ideas directly with the editor Professor Martin Hurcombe ( Authors must follow the journal’s house style and articles should be submitted via our online submission system no later than 1 May 2020 at where further guidelines can be found.