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Professor of Sport and Social Theory, Loughborough University

Alan Bairner is Professor of Sport and Social Theory at Loughborough UNiversity

He studied Politics at the University of Edinburgh, gained a PGCE from Moray House College of Education and was awarded his PhD at the University of Hull for a thesis on the social and political theory of Antonio Gramsci. Prior to his arrival in Loughborough in 2003, he was Professor in Sport Studies at the University of Ulster where he had worked for twenty five years.

He is the author of Sport, Nationalism, and Globalization. Europe and North American Perspectives (2001) and co-author (with John Sugden) of Sport, Sectarianism and Society in a Divided Ireland (1993). He edited Sport and the Irish. Histories, Identities, Issues (2005) and is joint editor of Sport in Divided Societies (1999), The Bountiful Game? Football Identities and Finances (2005) and The Politics of the Olympics. A Survey (2010). He is co-editor with John Kelly and Jung Woo Lee of the Routledge Handbook of Sport and Politics to be published n 2016. His current research focuses on the relationships between sport and national identity and between sport, leisure and urban spaces.He is currently preparing a monograph on sport and politics for a Routledge series, ‘Frontiers of Sport’, for which he is series editor.

Professor Bairner is a former Loughborough University Branch President of the University and College Union UCU). He is also the editor-in-chief of the Asia Pacific Journal of Sport and Social Science.

He is module leader for PSB015 Sport, Ideologies and Values and for PSC025 Sport, Celebrity and Place.


  • –present
    Professor of Sport and Social Theor, Loughborough University