New publication: Olympic humanitarianism – the fundamental principles of Olympism


The Journal of Olympic History recently features on the cover of its latest number my article “Olympic humanitarianism: the fundamental principles of Olympism”. While I have published shorter articles on the same topic before in Culture @ the Olympics and this is the article that contains the research that informed them. This article, pilule which was possible thanks to the ailment Human Rights and the Olympic Movement – a literature review, Lausanne, Switzerland (May 2009)” title=”awards & grants”>post-graduate research grant I received in 2009 from the Olympic Studies Centre of the International Olympic Committee,  also reflects some of the arguments that have informed my PhD research.


When the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded the Games to Beijing in 2001, the decision was subjected to various forms of public resistance and opposition. Whether driven by political figures or parties, activist groups or humanitarian celebrities, over the seven preparatory years there were claims that China was neither ready nor worthy to be an Olympic host.

Starting from the claims of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch according to which the IOC’s humanitarian mission is enshrined in its Charter and is specifically expressed in its fundamental principles, this article aims to identify the human rights connection in the Olympic Charter. Using a historical and contextual analysis and exploration method of IOC archives including all the editions of the Charter from 1908 to 2012 together with minutes of the IOC Executive Meetings (1921-1975) and Sessions (1894-2000) , this article also discusses the impact and the feasibility of the calls of advocacy groups for the IOC to introduce tougher requirements related to human rights for future candidate cities.


You can read the entire article on

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.