The Palgrave Handbook of Paralympic Studies

Finally Published after over two years of hard work. Thirty chapters from over forty academics and practitioners in the field. Find out more at:


1 Introduction Ian Brittain and Aaron Beacom

Part I Conceptualising Disability Sport

2 Disability Models: Explaining and Understanding Disability Sport in Different Ways  Brett Smith and Andrea Bundon

3 Multiple Oppression and Tackling Stigma Through Sport Anjali J. Forber-Pratt

4 Disability and Barriers to Inclusion Hayley Fitzgerald

5 Sport and Social Movements by and for Disability and Deaf Communities: Important Differences in Self-Determination, Politicisation, and Activism Danielle Peers

6 Game Changer? Social Media, Representations of Disability and the Paralympic Games Liam French and Jill M. Le Clair

Part II Structure and Development of the Paralympic Movement

7 Key Points in the History and Development of the Paralympic Games Ian Brittain

8 Development of the IPC and Relations with the IOC and Other Stakeholders David Legg

9 The International Paralympic Committee as a Governing Body Mary Hums and Joshua Pate

10 Organising and Delivering the Modern Paralympic Games: Contemporary Debates Relating to Integration and Distinction Laura Misener and Kristina Molloy

11 The Paralympic Movement: A Small Number of Behemoths Overwhelming a Large Number of Also-Rans—A Pyramid Built on Quicksand? Simon Darcy

Part III Paralympic Sport: Political and Strategic Perspectives

12 Comparative Sport Policy Analysis and Paralympic Sport Mathew Dowling, David Legg, and Phil Brown

13 The Paralympic Movement and the International Development Agenda Amy Farkas Karageorgos and Colin Higgs

14 The Rise of China as a Paralympic Superpower Mao Ailin and Sun Shuhan

15 The Paralympic Movement and the Boycott Agenda: South Africa, Apartheid and the Paralympic Games Ian Brittain

16 The Paralympic Movement and Diplomacy: Centring Disability in the Global Frame Aaron Beacom

Part IV The Paralympic Movement: Governance Perspectives

17 Women and Athletes with High Support Needs in Paralympic Sport: Progress and Further Opportunities for Underrepresented Populations Chloe Slocum, Suzy Kim, and Cheri Blauwet

18 Evolution and Development of Best Practice in Paralympic Classification Mark J. Connick, Emma Beckman, and Sean M. Tweedy

19 Intellectual Disability, Special Olympics and Parasport Jan Burns

20 Prostheses and Other Equipment: The Issue of the Cyborg Athlete—Interrogating the Media Coverage of the Cybathlon 2016 Event Gregor Wolbring

21 Paralympic Philosophy and Ethics Mike J. McNamee and Richard J. Parnell

Part V Paralympic Games Case Studies

22 The London 2012 Paralympic Games Shane Kerr

23 Sochi 2014 Evgeny Bukharov

24 The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Ian Brittain and Leonardo Mataruna

25 2018 PyeongChang Paralympic Games and the South Korean Political Intention Kyoungho Park and Gwang Ok

26 Visions on the Legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Kazuo Ogur

Part VI Contemporary Paralympic Legacies and Challenges

27 Marketing of Paralympic Sports: Attracting Spectators and Sponsors Michael Cottingham and Renan Petersen-Wagner

28 Developing Disability Sport: The Evolving Role of the University Sector Aaron Beacom and Gill Golder

29 Paralympic Legacies: A Critical Perspective Athanasios (Sakis) Pappous and Christopher Brown

30 Concluding Thoughts Aaron Beacom and Ian Brittain



Call for Papers: Disability Sport: What will its legacy be?

3rd – 5th September 2018

To be held at the TechnoCentre, Coventry University (Only 1 hour from London and 15 mins from Birmingham International Airport by train)

Following on from the success of the first three disability sport conferences held in 2012, 2014 and 2016 the Centre for Business in Society at Coventry University proudly present an international inter-disciplinary conference for academics and practitioners. Further details can be found at:

Final closing date for abstracts for oral presentation is Friday 27th April. We will accept abstracts for poster presentations up to 31st July 2018.

Please e-mail submission(s) to

First Keynote Speaker Already Confirmed: Shinji Nakamae – Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Director for Integration


It’s that time again!

Save the Dates

Call for Abstracts: Legacies and Mega Events: Fact or Fairy Tales? Conference, Coventry Uni, UK – 9 &10 Nov 2017

To mark the end of the 4-year EU funded Carnival project and the launch of a new edited book, also titled ‘Legacies and Mega Events: Fact or Fairytales?’ the Centre for Business in Society at Coventry University proudly present an international inter-disciplinary conference for academics and practitioners.

The conference will focus on the issues surrounding legacies and mega events and whether they are actually realistically achievable and how they can be measured.


The conference itself will be based around four main themes:

  • Understanding the Legacy Process
  • Theoretical frameworks for researching and analysing different aspects of legacy
  • Issues around measuring different aspects of legacy
  • The impact of the wider political economy upon host city legacy plans

Presentations maybe submitted on any aspect of legacy that fits within the four broad themes listed above. Further details and abstract submission guidelines can be found at:

Two Disability Sport PhD Opportunities available from September 2016

Two disability sport PhD opportunities are available from this September (details below). Funding may be available on a competitive basis (see full adverts for details)

Invictus: The Unconquerable Human Spirit and the Impact of Competitive Sport – a Cross-National Comparison

This project will:

  • Assess the role and importance of sport, and particularly competitive sport, in the recovery journey for wounded, injured and sick military personnel and the way they are perceived by the rest of society.
  • Provide a comparative analysis of how wounded, injured and sick military personnel are viewed and treated in a variety of different nations.
  • Improve our understanding of the wider social role of sport.

Further details can be found at:

Mediatising and Marketing the ‘Disabled’ Body: Making Para-Sport Mainstream – Problems and Possibilities

This project will investigate:

  • The way the media and marketers have historically portrayed and currently portray Para-sport.
  • The impact these portrayals might have upon the way disability is perceived within wider society (by both people with disabilities and the non-disabled population).
  • The problems and possibilities faced by Para-sportsmen and women as a result of the ways they are portrayed.

Further details can be found at:

Both PhDs will be supervised by Dr Ian Brittain as Director of Studies (


PhD Opportunity starting April 2016

We have a PhD opportunity commencing in April 2016 in connection with Coventry University’s Carnival Project. The opportunity is open to UK&EU (Fees + Stipend) AND International students (Fees only) The two projects are as follows and will include extensive periods of travel for data collection in South Africa/ Brazil and/or the USA:

What’s In It For Me: Assessing the Legacy of Para-Sport Events Upon the Lived Experience of People with Disabilities in Host Locations

Dr Ian Brittain

This studentship is part of the CARNIVAL project led by Coventry University, supported by a network of university partners from Brazil, Germany, South Africa and the USA. The main aims are to: 1) examine multiple contextual understandings of the impacts of mega-events, including social, economic, cultural, political, environmental and technological impacts; 2) provide opportunities for research on cutting-edge sustainable management practices to ensure that future potential mega-event impacts are maximised.

The International Paralympic Committee claims that the Paralympic Games can have a transformative affect upon the lives of people with disabilities, as well as positively change perceptions regarding people with disabilities within the non-disabled population. However, these claims have never been properly examined or investigated. The aim of this project is to interrogate these claims by investigating the impact of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games upon the lives of people with disabilities living in Rio de Janeiro following the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, and comparing these results with a similar investigation of the impact of the smaller scale Invictus Games for injured military personnel. You will also be part of a team carrying out research at the second Invictus Games in Florida this May.

As part of working on this project you will be expected to travel for data collection for prolonged periods of time (3-6 months) to Brazil.

Further details can be found at:

Candidate specification:

• a taught Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, involving a dissertation of standard length written in English in the relevant subject area with a minimum of a merit profile: 60% overall module average and a minimum of a 60% dissertation mark
• the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a three-year period of study
• a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)
Specific requirements:
• knowledge and/or experience of Paralympic/disability sport and/or working with people with disabilities
• the ability to speak and read Portuguese would be an advantage but is not essential a willingness to travel to South Africa

To apply, candidates will need to produce:

• The application form
• A 2,000 words proposal detailing your research interests and suggested approach to researching this topic
• Covering letter

To Apply please follow this link:

Closing date 29th February

Call for Abstracts: Disability Sport: Why do we ‘dis’ people’s abilities? Conference

Following on from the success of the first two conferences held in 2012 and 2014, the Centre for Business in Society will be hosting an international, inter-disciplinary conference for academics and practitioners.

The conference will be held at Coventry University, UK from 27-29 June 2016

The conference will focus on the use of disability sport as a tool for peace, development and social inclusion.


Conference Themes

The conference itself will be based around four main themes:

  • Sport and health for people with disabilities
  • Paralympic Legacies
  • Disability sport for peace and development
  • Disability sport and social inclusion


Possible areas for presentations include, but are not restricted to:

  • Inclusive sports programmes and policies (recreational/school/city/national)
  • Disability Sport as a tool for peace and development in post-conflict zones
  • Sport as a tool for the rehabilitation of individuals disabled as a result of conflict
  • Disability sport and its impact upon non-disabled perceptions of disability
  • Disability sport and the Higher Education sports curriculum
  • The potential economic and social impact of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games
  • Sport as a human right for people with disabilities
  • Disability, sport and identity
  • The impact of disability discrimination in the provision of sporting opportunities for people with disabilities
  • Technology and disability sport: where does man become machine?
  • Historical issues in disability sport and the Paralympic Games
  • The Media and disability and Paralympic sport
  • The impact of sport on the health of people with disabilities
  • The elite non-disabled sporting model and disability sport: impacts, problems and possibilities
  • Marketing disability sport: problems and possibilities
  • International perspectives on disability sport
  • Disability sport and international diplomacy

There will also be opportunities for posters and suggestions for workshops.

For further information please see the website at