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The Two Koreas and the Politics of Global Sport

From the publisher’s website:

In ordinary circumstances, one could be forgiven for assuming that sport unites rather than divides people. But, as this first in-depth study of inter-Korean sporting life and competition over more than six decades clearly demonstrates, sport has in fact been held hostage to the ups and downs of inter-Korean political relations.

The two Koreas have devoted considerable resources to developing sporting systems and securing sporting achievement globally, with important ramifications for both national pride and inter-Korean rivalry. And while the author accepts that sport and politics are close allies wherever one travels in the world, it remains the case that for the two Koreas sport plays a more significant central role in the context of the vicissitudes of the relationship across the 38th parallel and has considerable repercussions on sporting ambitions and development for both countries.

This book has wide inter-disciplinary relevance in the context of Korean studies in particular and East Asian politics and international relations in general – with special reference to the phenomenon of ‘two-state rivalry’ as was or still is the case for Germany, Yemen, Vietnam and China/Taiwan. Those pursuing sports studies in an international context will also find this volume invaluable.


  • Introduction
  • Sport, Nationalism and International Relations
  • Tradition, Colonialism and New Statehood in Korea
  • Into the International Arena
  • The Seoul Olympics
  • Reaction and Reconciliation
  • Cooling Down
  • Sporting Systems Today
  • Lessons From Other Divided Nations
  • Conclusion

Entry on here.

* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.