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Pan-Africanism and the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa


  • Sabelo J Ndlovu-Gatsheni


This article explores how South Africa's 2010 hosting of the FIFA World Cup became an occasion to try to deepen nationalism and pan-Africanism in the midst of contending discourses that emphasised the economic and developmental meaning of the mega-event. The article uses Michael Billig's concept of ‘banal nationalism’ in combination with the Essex discourse approach to make sense of competing perspectives on the meanings of the World Cup. Its central thesis is that this meaning cannot be understood outside a history of a society emerging from apartheid oppression and racism and aspiring to be a nation and a developed state. The discourse approach makes it possible to read the World Cup as a social and political construction and assists in understanding different subject positions that human agents take up in order to make sense of the event within a society whose national cohesiveness is fragile.

Suggested Citation

  • Sabelo J Ndlovu-Gatsheni, 2011. "Pan-Africanism and the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(3), pages 401-413, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:28:y:2011:i:3:p:401-413 DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2011.595996

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Victor Matheson, 2006. "Mega-Events: The effect of the world’s biggest sporting events on local, regional, and national economies," Working Papers 0610, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    2. Victor Matheson, 2009. "Economic Multipliers and Mega-Event Analysis," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 4(1), pages 63-70, February.
    3. WOLFGANG MAENNIG & STAN du PLESSIS, 2007. "World Cup 2010: South African Economic Perspectives And Policy Challenges Informed By The Experience Of Germany 2006," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(4), pages 578-590, October.
    4. Bernd Süssmuth & Malte Heyne & Wolfgang Maennig, 2010. "Induced Civic Pride and Integration," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(2), pages 202-220, April.
    5. Stephanie Jasmand & Wolfgang Maennig, 2007. "Regional Income and Employment Effects of the 1972 Munich Olympic Summer Games," Working Papers 0712, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
    6. Robert Baumann & Victor Matheson & Chihiro Muroi, 2008. "Bowling in Hawaii: Examining the Effectiveness of Sports-Based Tourism Strategies," Working Papers 0808, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    7. Robert Baade & Victor Matheson, 2004. "The Quest for the Cup: Assessing the Economic Impact of the World Cup," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(4), pages 343-354.
    8. Hagn, Florian & Maennig, Wolfgang, 2008. "Employment effects of the Football World Cup 1974 in Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 1062-1075, October.
    9. Stan du Plessis & Cobus Venter, 2010. "The home team scores! A first assessment of the economic impact of World Cup 2010," Working Papers 21/2010, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    10. Stan du Plessis & Wolfgang Maennig, 2007. "World Cup 2010: South African Economic Perspectives and Perspectives Policy Challenges Informed by the Experience of Germany 2006," Working Papers 004, Chair for Economic Policy, University of Hamburg.
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