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Speaker(s): Mike Marqusee
Chair: Dr George Lawson

Recorded on 5 February 2014 at Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Why does the partisan choice between Real Madrid and Barcelona affect the identity of millions in North Africa, the Middle East and beyond? How does the India- Pakistan cricket rivalry remain salient in a world of 'globalised' sport? Why doesn't North America enjoy the same sports as the rest of the world?'

Mike Marqusee seeks to explain the phenomena of 'globalised' spectator sport through examining its origins. He argues that the transnational, transcultural tendency, universal rules and theoretically 'level playing field' shared by capitalism and sport have joint origins in 18th century England. From here, he looks at the effects of market driven 'globalised' spectator sport on identities and loyalties and asks how, despite this, national identity remains salient and, increasingly, financially valuable. He also addresses the issue of American exceptionalism, and how this is reflected in the bifurcation between North American sports and those preferred by the rest of the world. Ultimately, he asks if there is a sporting internationalism that can be posed against the corporate globalisation of sport, and what the elements of that might be.

Mike Marqusee is a journalist and activist. He writes widely on sport, politics and their interaction. He is the former editor of Labour Briefing.

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