CFP: Moving Mountains: Journal of Sport for Development and Peace

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
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Aug 17, 2009 / 0 comments

Moving Mountains: Journal of Sport for Development and Peace

(A more detailed announcement is posted online at

Moving Mountains (MM) is a new journal dedicated to the United Nations
theme of sport for development and peace.

The journal focuses on mountainous regions, including lowland gateways, but
peripheral attention is paid to exemplary developments in lowland and
oceanic regions. MM is a project of Mountain Legacy in collaboration with Himalayan Journal of Sciences (itself a project of the Himalayan Association for the Advancement of Science) and with faculty of Tribhuvan University (TU) and SUNY Cortland's Sport Management Department.

We are looking for:
  -    Feedback: isolated comments and suggestions, or long-term counsel
  -    Contributions: articles, photos, letters
  -    Reviews: specialists in a wide variety of fields

For a list of proposed departments and article types, see "Inside Moving



Who should collaborate on Moving Mountains?

As the name suggests, there is a great deal of work to be done. We need
qualified scholars to contribute original research articles in and/or to serve as reviewers on a broad array of topics, including sport management, economics, ecology, gender issues, and development. We need sport
participants to contribute personal narratives of the impact of their activities on development and peace. We are interested in accounts of failed development, marginal successes, and shining examples, and we particularly
want to know about opportunities for young people to become involved as
amateur or professional sport-development-peace facilitators.




The connection between sport (or games in general) and peace is far older
than the Olympics; the fact that many species engage in mock combat in order to establish dominance suggests that the connection is actually hard-wired into our genome. In part, sport's connection with peace is a reflection of its role as [often thinly] sublimated war: think of lacrosse among the American Indians. The perception of opportunity for economic development as a concomitant of sport is relatively recent, but certainly not original at this point. Nonetheless, as recreation becomes a more important component of the economy, opportunities are rapidly expanding. There is an increasing need for specific guidance as to how sport can be managed in a way that serves social needs beyond simple recreation.

*Sport for Development and Peace* is a theme that embraces an open-ended array of activities, and we do not intend at this point to narrowly
circumscribe the journal's coverage. The explanations given here are

  -     *Sports* may be engaged in for profit or for fun, competitively or
  not, in teams or individually, with or without rules. By way of
  illustration, we would include soccer, tennis, gymnastics, jogging,
  trekking, skiing, mountaineering, and some forms of dance. For reasons of
  personal predilection on the part of journal organizers, we would exclude
  hunting, fishing, bullfighting, or any other sport that injures or exploits
  -     *Development* simply means change due to human impact, whether
  beneficial or not. We are most interested in the positive impacts that sport
  may have on society and environment, but in order to promote the positive we will necessarily have to take note of negative development as well.
  -     *Peace* is harmony among humans; it entails economic prosperity,
  sustainable use of resources, and equity in all opportunities.

*Sport for peace and development* does not necessarily mean that sport is
undertaken for the purpose of achieving peace and development. Rather, the
phrase focuses on the impact, whatever the intention.

As a "tool" for social engineering, sport comes into play in a variety of ways:

- Sports may become a key component of the economy of a community or even  an entire region. It may become the basis for tourism, both domestic and international, and therefore contribute to peace and prosperity. In the case of outdoor sports, the economic agenda may translate into an agenda of natural and even cultural conservation.

- Sports events may be organized to raise funds for or promote consciousness of a given agenda. Nixon's *ping-pong diplomacy*, which  facilitated the normalization of relations between the United States and  China, is one example; another might be a local bicycle ride or walk-a-thon  in support of AIDS research.

- Basketball or other sport leagues may be organized in an effort to sublimate and mitigate rivalries across social divides.

- Sports instruction in schools may be used as a tool of social engineering, to promote cooperation, discipline, and other desirable personal and social attributes.

- Participants in certain sports (such as mountaineering, trekking, and scuba diving) may become involved in protecting the environments they enjoy and in meeting objectives of host communities. This response is particularly  significant inasmuch as many sports entail direct or collateral damage to the ecosystem, erosion of traditional culture, aesthetic degradation (through accumulation of waste material), introduction of health problems, and limitations on economic opportunities (particularly those that involve extractive exploitation of natural resouces).

- As exemplified by the Special Olympics, participation in sports can have a revolutionary impact on the lives of marginalized sectors of our society, providing an opportunity for them to earn the esteem of others as well as a sense of dignity. [Thank you, Eunice Kennedy Shriver!]

MM will recognize and promote sport as a tool for positive social engineering. It will publish peer-reviewed research reports, articles, news, and columns for professionals, scholars, students, and prospective participants. (For more details, see



What does "Sport for Development and Peace" have to do with Mountain

(For more information about Mountain Legacy, see and

First of all, "development and peace" are goals that largely mirror those of
Mountain Legacy. Sustainable development and social harmony depend on
cultural and natural conservation.

Secondly, the mountain agenda cannot be separated from the larger context.
Lowland population centers are the gateways to highland destinations. To the
extent that economic opportunity in the mountains depends on tourism, the
competitive capabilities of mountain regions depend on regional assets,
including peace. Development policies are made in lowland population centers, and the willingness of planners to take highland needs into
consideration depends on the awareness of highland contributions to the
regional economy.

Third, the dynamics of sport impact on development and peace are similar at
any elevation. While some of us are most interested in mountain sports, we
can certainly learn from sports in other environments, whether scuba-diving
in reefs, Olympic games in Beijing, or New York Jets summer camp in Cortland (upstate  NY). Sport is global, and the value of our journal would be
diminished if its scope were narrower.

Nepal provides an excellent case-study of the linkages between sport,
development, and peace. Trekking is the magnet activity that drives tourism
in Nepal, and tourism is the foundation of Nepal's economy. Political instability in Kathmandu has lead to guerrilla warfare in the hills, which has crippled the goose that lays all those golden eggs. Pollution, poverty, health, and gender issues (to cite just a few critical areas) all constrain peace, conservation, and future opportunities.

The Mountain Legacy agenda is in many ways exemplary of the
sport-development-peace linkages outlined above. Most of the ML
collaborators became interested in conservation by way of a prior interest
in mountain sports. Our Bridges programs have focused on promoting trekking as a key economic activity in remote mountainous destinations. The 2010 program, while maintaining a multi-pronged, multidisciplinary agenda, will undertake feasibility studies for two new sporting events that would serve
as economic catalysts and also as venues for intercultural cooperation.



HJS: A Respected Model

Moving Mountains will emulate the publication values represented by Himalayan Journal of Sciences, a respected journal since 2002.


For more information, please see: