In a Nutshell, ep. 14: The Politics of Sport with Paul Reef

15 apr 2024 ,

In the Vox podcast In a Nutshell, hosts Jara Majerus and Antonia Leise take a deep dive into the university's most interesting, strange, and exciting research. Every two weeks, they invite Radboud researchers to talk about their favourite topics – explained in bite-sized episodes. In today's episode, Antonia is talking to Paul Reef about the political meaning of mega-sporting events.

Does it matter whether Russian athletes compete at the Olympics? Why do transgender athletes ruffle so many feathers when it comes to sports competitions – even in disciplines like darts? And why do countries keep hosting mega-sporting events, even if they lead to massive financial losses?

Sport is at the centre of many political debates. But why? In this week’s episode of In a Nutshell, Antonia talks to PhD candidate Paul Reef about mega-sporting events and the politics behind them. Including discussions about the upcoming Paris Olympics and why some of its security measures might be here to stay.

Paul Reef is a PhD candidate in political and international history at the Faculty of Arts. He is researching the intersection between sport and politics, specifically public protests against the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup. In 2023, he was awarded the Hermesdorf Talent Award for his media appearances on sport politics and his role in the public debate on human rights and international sporting events.

Do you want to learn more about the politics of sport? Then follow Paul’s recommendations for critical journalistic reporting about sporting events, including the platform inside the games, and, if you speak Dutch, the sports reporting of Trouw and NRC. For a more historical perspective on the politics of sport, have a look at Barbara Keys’ book Globalizing Sport.

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