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Title: #UnPaísEnUnaCancha? : football and nation-building in Colombia during the presidency of Juan Manuel Santos (2010-2018)
Author: Watson, Peter Jonathan
ISNI:       0000 0004 8506 3560
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis examines how and why Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos deployed football for nation-building during his two terms in office (2010-2018). The Santos presidency will be most remembered for the peace agreement with the FARC. This thesis analyses how football was put to use by the Santos government to support the peace process, and as part of Santos' wider national unity project. It argues that football was put to use for nation-building in a highly strategic, systematic and innovative manner, unrivalled in Colombia's history. Santos recognized football's power and malleability, cognizant of its capacity to transcend existing local, regional and national divisions, and its potential as an instrument to support social development objectives. This study analyses three elements of Santos' use of football: 1) sport-specific presidential discourse and Twitter broadcasts; 2) football-specific legislation and public policies; 3) government-organized Sport for Development and Peace campaigns. It argues that Santos' rhetoric around football emphasized a message of one sole country together behind the national men's team, made metonymic of a new, peaceful, and united Colombia. Football is positioned as an inclusive space, in contrast to previous representations of national team symbolism, which excluded those contained within the 'Narcolombia' imaginary. This idea of football as a space for inclusion, socialization and encounter was strengthened by the evolution of laws, public policies and campaigns that promoted this power of football. Laws that were originally conceived to take a punitive approach to ending the violence around Colombian football, evolved to privilege negotiation, empowerment of citizenship and supporting pedagogy and development. Finally, football has been central to SDP projects across the national territory, most significantly in the FARC demobilization and transition camps, where football served as a time and space for socialization, reconciliation, mutual recognition, re-identification and reintegration.
Supervisor: Wood, David ; Rea, Lauren Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available