Building from Beslan: examining an NGO community sport initiative in Russia and its capacity to promote peace amongst victims of terrorism

Rookwood, Joel (2013) Building from Beslan: examining an NGO community sport initiative in Russia and its capacity to promote peace amongst victims of terrorism. Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, 5 (4). pp. 230-242. ISSN 1759-6599

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Purpose – Peace promotion can include culturally relevant community programming. Some agencies have used sports such as football, for example, as a vehicle for fostering social development in fractured societies. This paper explores a football project implemented in Beslan, Russia following a 2004 terrorist attack. The purpose of this paper is to examine the approach adopted and the appropriateness of using football as a tool to promote peace amongst survivors of terrorism. It also focuses on the wider impact and significance of projects in comparable contexts.
Design/methodology/approach – This qualitative work examines interview data obtained from eight UK-based staff and two Russian project translators. Each British interviewee also participated in a focus group with their colleagues, which is explored here also.

Findings – Football-based interventions can have beneficial outcomes in certain conditions. It is important to consider contextual nuances, the degree of cultural significance and the various necessary conditions. The use of sport for peace promotion and other forms of social involvement are reliant on a variety of components, including the design and implementation of projects and the quality of staff, together with several environmental, logistical, relational and socio-political factors.
Originality/value – Despite the increase in sport-for-development initiatives, meaningful research in this context is lacking. This is particularly the case in relation to peace promotion. This paper addresses a variety of challenges, approaches and outcomes associated with such projects. This work is uniquely positioned, analysing a neglected political context; it deliberately examines an atypical, exploratory, problematic initiative executed in a dangerous environment and addresses many of the questions posed through such work

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Beslan, Football, Peace, Terrorism
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: Susan Murray
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2014 09:34
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2014 09:34

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