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.
Brian Bridges (Ph.D. 1979; University of Wales, Swansea) is a Professor in the Department of Political Science, Lingnan University, Hong Kong, specialising in the politics and international relations of the Asian Pacific region. His publications include
Korea after the Crash (2001).
"... Bridges offers a dedicated and focused study of the politics of sport on the divided peninsula that pays equal attention to the North and the South... It is a meticulously researched, engaging and informative book that fills a major gap. It comprises 168 pages of text, an extensive bibliography and a useful index. The book is well presented, very readable and accesible to both a broader audience and a specialist readership with a keen interest in the sociology and politics of sport, Korean society and culture, divided nations, foreign policy and international relations..."
Asia Pacific Journal of Sport and Social Science (Vol.2, No.1, 2013)
This title is relevant to anyone interested in the development of sport in East Asia, the history of inter-Korean relations and the international relations of North-east Asia.