Writer Dikaia Chatziefstathiou, Ian P. Henry ISBN 9780230289574 Publication Date July 2012 Formats Hardcover, Ebook (EPUB), Ebook (PDF) Publisher Palgrave Macmillan



Most of what has been written in relation to the modern Olympic movement has focused on the Games or more recently on the failings (both in terms of ethics and more practically of governance) of those operating within the Olympic movement. Yet the Olympic movement was intended by Pierre de Coubertin, the central figure in the revival of the Olympic Games, to be based upon a philosophy, ‘Olympism’. This book evaluates the moral project of Olympism, developing an analysis of the changing value positions adopted in relation to the ideology of Olympism from the 1890s to the present day. The book also explores contemporary concerns with youth, governance, sport for development and international relations.


The discussion of Olympism has been bedevilled by an endless debate between its defenders and detractors. In a refreshing new approach Chatziefstathiou and Henry examine the production of the discourse of Olympism over time. Case studies of de Coubertin, Diem and lecturers at the International Olympic Academy show how this discourse has an intriguing life of its own.

Professor and Director of the Australian Centre for Olympic Studies, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia 

Based on a meticulous discourse analysis of the most influential theorists in the modern Olympic movement Dikaia Chatziefstathiou and Ian Henry have produced a comprehensive and thoroughly documented text describing and discussing the central strands of ‘Olympism’. This outstanding work will be required reading for anyone interested in Olympic ideology.

Professor in the Institute for Sport Sciences, University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany 

This learned, ambitious study brings the ideologies of the Olympic Movement down to earth by examining them against the major transformations of the modern period and the day-to-day debates in which Olympic leaders were engaged. It’s essential reading for anyone concerned with Olympic history and an historically informed, less polemic basis for scholarly critique.

Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto, Canada  

A fascinating book which depicts the deep evolution of Olympism as an ideology over three centuries of Olympic issues.

Professor of Public Management, Swiss Graduate School of Administration, University of Lausanne, Switzerland  

The authors put the dynamic historical process of studies on Olympism in a new perspective and re-evaluated it critically. It provokes creative ideas. It is a book worth having to all serious Olympic scholars and students.

Director of the Centre for Olympic Studies, Beijing Sport University, China  

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