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Prologue: Beijing 2008 - the mixed messages of contemporary Chinese nationalism

Lovell, Julia (2008) Prologue: Beijing 2008 - the mixed messages of contemporary Chinese nationalism. International Journal of the History of Sport 25 (7), pp. 758-778. ISSN 0952-3367.

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Within China, Beijing's successful bid to host the 2008 Olympics has been celebrated as proof of the country's confident resurgence in world politics and culture. Chinese analysts have seized upon the Olympic Movement's stated universalistic aim of 'promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity' to underline the benignity of China's own 'peaceful rise'; to assert that China's new power and influence will be a force for international harmony rather than of partisan nationalism. Closer examination of Chinese discussions of the Beijing Olympics, and of the history of Chinese nationalism, however, indicates that contemporary China's reassertion of a globally dominant position is a less straightforwardly saccharine enterprise than official rhetoric would have us believe. Taking as its starting point an examination of public discussion (in academic and mass media) of the forthcoming Games, this article will place China's Olympic and global aspirations in the broader context of China's imperial and modern history. It will analyse China's powerful yearning for the Olympics as the latest phase in the country's troubled national quest over the past century to recover a central position in the international political, economic and cultural realm.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2010 14:51
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:19

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