Basketball With(out) Borders: Interrogating the Intersections of Sport, Development, and Capitalism

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Millington, Robert
Sport for Development and Peace , Development , Corporate Capitalism , Corporate Philanthropy , National Basketball Association
The purpose of this thesis is to explore the intersection of sport for development and peace (SDP) and global corporate philanthropy through a case study of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) “Basketball Without Borders” (BWB). The NBA promotes BWB as a means to social and economic development in the global South by wedding basketball with education on social issues and the development of sport-related infrastructure. However, the NBA’s participation in SDP is emblematic of broader issues in neoliberal globalization, and, as such, an historical and discursive analysis is undertaken to interrogate the seemingly divergent pursuits of capitalism and international development. I argue that the consequences of transnational corporations like the NBA entering developing nations for the purposes of promoting development through sport results in the prioritization of commercialism over development, and the (re)production of hegemonic and neocolonial ideologies and practices.
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