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George Wright, “Globalisation and Sport,” Debate, New Political Economy, July, 1999.
This contribution aims to assess the relationship between sport and globali-zation. Capitalism has always been global, while national economies have been situated in the global accumulation process. But since the late 1960s, capitalism has been restructured to a point where today it has become more globalized than ever. This restructuring can be understood on economic, political and ideological levels. The economic level is characterized by an acceleration of global production processes, a new international division of labor based on low paid, flexible, labor relations, and new international marketing strategies. These changes have led to the acceleration of the centralization and concentration of capital, resulting in extreme wealth and income disparities worldwide. Global restructuring has been expedited by new computer and satellite telecommu-nication technologies that have emerged in the past 20 years.
On the political level, governments have abolished Keynesian approaches, intensified the dismantling of the public sector, deregulated the economy, and have taken steps to weaken organized labor. This political project (called neo-liberalism) has resulted in the subordination of national sovereignty to the prescriptions of international treaty regimes, such as Bretton Woods (the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank), Maastricht and the North American Free Trade Agreement, etc. What this means is that Transnational Corporations and Banks have increasingly more power than nation-states over controlling national economies. The neo-liberal project has also inculcated a "free-market" ideological climate which dominates public life and political discourse throughout the world. The globalization of sport can also be understood on...
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