New Book – Sport and the Pursuit of War and Peace from the Nineteenth Century to the Present: War Minus the Shooting?

Edited by Martin Hurcombe & Philip Dine

Available to pre-order. Use code SMA31 to get a 20% discount. Valid until 31 March 2023.

This volume of wide-ranging essays by sport historians and sociologists examines the complex relations of war, peace and sport through a series of case studies from South and North America, Europe, North Africa, Asia and New Zealand.

From formal military training in the late nineteenth century to contemporary esports, the relationship between military and sporting cultures has endured across nations in times of conflict and peace. This collection contextualizes debates around the morality and desirability of continuing to play sport against the backdrop of war as others are dying for their nation. It also examines the legacy and memory of particular wars as expressed in a range of sporting practices in the immediate aftermath of conflicts such as the World Wars and wars of independence. At the same time, this book analyses the history of sport and peace by considering how sport can operate as a pacification in some contexts and a tool of reconciliation in others.

Together, and through an introductory framing essay, these essays offer scholars of sport, conflict studies and cultural history more broadly a multinational analysis of the war-peace-sport nexus that has operated throughout the world since the late nineteenth century.


Martin Hurcombe is Professor of French Studies at the University of Bristol, UK. He is a specialist in early twentieth-century French culture, history and politics and is the author of Novelists in Conflict: Ideology and the Absurd in the French Combat Novel of the Great War (2004) and France and the Spanish Civil War: Cultural Representations of the War Next Door, 1936–45 (2011). His most recent book, co-written with Martyn Cornick and Angela Kershaw, is French Political Travel Writing in the Inter-War Years: Radical Departures (2017). His current work explores the history of the French sports press and publication industry through its relationship to road cycling.

Philip Dine was formerly Personal Professor and Head of French at the University of Galway, Ireland. He has published widely on representations of the French colonial empire and its cultural legacies in fields ranging from children’s literature to professional sport. Further projects have targeted sport and identity-construction in France and the Francophone world. He is the author of Images of the Algerian War (1994), French Rugby Football: A Cultural History (2001) and Sport and Identity in France: Practices, Locations, Representations (2012). He is also the co-editor (with Seán Crosson) of Sport, Representation and Evolving Identities in Europe (2010).