The 2003 cricket world cup: implications for identity and democracy in Zimbabwe
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Sports mega-events have the potential to provide a focal point for the strengthening of national unity and coherent national identity. They are also said to be able to provide a catalyst or incentive for democratization and human rights processes if hosted by authoritarian or democratically weak regimes. However, the outcomes for host nations are not always predeterminable. An analysis of South African and Zimbabwe's co-hosting of the 2003 Cricket World cup illustrated this point. A racially charged discourse informed much of the changes about Zimbabwe's co-host status, both transnational with the racial and ethic contours of the cricket playing commonwealth world and domestically within the host nations, thereby undermining the broader attempts at transforming the sport. Instead of the event having a generally liberalizing effect on Zimbabwean society it ultimately aided in further entrenching the regime.
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