Sport Events and Social Capital in Conflict-affected Country: A Case Study of National Unity Day in South Sudan

  • #Other Publications and Papers

In South Sudan, most conflicts take the form of ethnic conflicts. This paper examines the social capital of athletes who participated in National Unity Day (NUD) – 9-day annual national sport events under the theme ‘Peace and Unity’. The paper looks at whether the athletes’ perceptions and behaviours have been changed through NUD and aims to deepen our understanding of the impact of social capital on social cohesion through sports. The paper shows that it is important to strengthen social capital such as ‘trust and cooperative norms’ in relation to other ethnic groups and governments in order to improve awareness of conflict and provide a foundation of social cohesion. Another finding is that NUD became a place where the athletes came to recognise the importance of peace and unity embodied by the event, which allows athletes to interact with different tribes including those who have hostility towards.

Mitsuaki Furukawa
Date of issuance
October 2021
International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics
Number of pages
18 page
Related areas
  • #Africa
Research area
Development Cooperation Strategies
Research project