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Publisher: Routledge
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: GV557_Sports
For the first time in nearly 30 years, 2013 has seen increasing public awareness of calls for a comprehensive boycott of and sanctions on a state based on questions of an “entrenched system of racial discrimination”. The call to boycott South African sport emerged in the 1950s as the apartheid state was developing and refining its comprehensive and systematic legal form amid growing international pressure for decolonisation. This is a different social and political context than the call 50 years later by Palestinian civil society for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel (BDS). This paper draws on analyses of international anti-apartheid movements’ campaigns against sporting contact with South Africa and the BDS call for the isolation of the Israeli state to propose a theory of sports boycotts. It looks at the anti-apartheid campaigns, especially those in the early 1960s, to consider ways in which the BDS campaign has an impact on existing historical understandings of cultural boycotts as a tactical and strategic campaign tool.

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