Simon Darnell

Simon Darnell, Assistant Professor, Sport for Development & Peace

  • Assistant Professor
55 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2W6

About Simon

Academic Training

SSHRC Post-doctoral Fellow — Department of International Development Studies, Dalhousie University, 2009-2011

PhD — Faculty of Physical Education and Health, University of Toronto, 2008

MA — School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia, 2003

BHK — School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia, 1999

Graduate Student Recruitment Status
Accepting PhD and MSc students
Research Interests

Sociology of sport and physical activity

International development and ‘Sport for Development and Peace’

Social movements and activism in sport

Sport and public policy

Sport and ‘Global Citizenship’

Sport, race and post-colonialism

Sport, celebrity and consumer culture

Selected Publications


Millington, R., Darnell, S.C. and Millington, B. (In Press) “Ecological Modernization and the Olympics: The Case of Golf and Rio’s ‘Green’ Games.” Sociology of Sport Journal.

Darnell, S.C. and Huish, R. (In Press – 2016) “Learning through South-South Development: Cuban-African Partnerships in Sport and Physical Education” Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education. (Published online September 20, 2016)

Darnell, S.C., Chawansky, M., Marchesseault, D., Holmes, M., Hayhurst, L. (In Press - 2016) “The State of Play: Critical Sociological Insights into Recent ‘Sport for Development and Peace’ Research.” International Review for the Sociology of Sport. (Published online May 11, 2016)   

Darnell, S.C., Whitley, M., and Massey, W. (2016) “Changing Methods and Methods of Change: Reflections on Qualitative Research in Sport for Development and Peace.” Qualitative Research in Sport, Health and Exercise, 8(5), 571-577.

Collison, H., Giulianotti, R., Howe, P.D., and Darnell, S.C. (2016) “The Methodological Dance: Critical Reflections on Conducting a Cross-cultural, Comparative Research Project on ‘Sport for Development and Peace.’” Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health. 8(5), 413-423.

Darnell, S.C. and Kaur, T. (2015) “C.L.R. James and a Place for History in Theorizing ‘Sport for Development and Peace.’”International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing16(1/2), 5-17.

Darnell, S.C. and Huish, R. (2015) Cuban Sport Policy and South-South Development Cooperation: An overview and analysis of the Escuela Internacional de Educación Física y Deportes." International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics,7(1), 123-140. (Published online May 28, 2014)

Norman, M., Ventresca, M., Szto, C., and Darnell, S.C. (2015) “Driving to the ‘Net: Blogs, Frames and Politics in the New York Islanders’ Stadium Saga.” Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 39(1), 19-39. (Published online July 16, 2014)

Wells, C. and Darnell, S.C. (2014) “Caster Semenya, Gender Verification and the Politics of Fairness in Canada’s Online Track & Field Community.” Sociology of Sport Journal, 31(1), 44-65.

Darnell, S.C. (2014) “Orientalism through Sport: Towards a Said-ian Analysis of Imperialism and ‘Sport for Development and Peace.’” Sport in Society, 17(8), 1000-1014. 

Millington, R. and Darnell, S.C. (2014) “Constructing and Contesting the Olympics Online: The Internet, Rio 2016 and the Politics of Brazilian Development.” International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 49(2), 190-210.


Harvey, J., Horne, J., Safai, P., Darnell, S.C. & Courchesne-O’Neill, S. (2014)
Sport and Social Movements: From the Global to the Local 
London: Bloomsbury Academic Press.

Joseph, J., Darnell, S.C., and Nakamura, Y. (Editors) (2012) 
Race and Sport in Canada: Intersecting Inequalities
Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press

Darnell, S.C. (2012) Sport for Development and Peace: A Critical Sociology 
London: Bloomsbury Academic Press

Book Chapters 

Darnell, S.C. (In Press) “International Development & Policy.” In: Andrews, D., Silk, M., and Thorpe, H. (Editors) TheRoutledge Handbook of Physical Cultural Studies. Routledge.

Darnell, S.C. and Marchesseault, D. (In Press) “Sport for Development and Peace.” In: Hoye, R. and Parent, M. (Editors)Sage Handbook of Sport Management. Sage.

Darnell, S.C. (2016) “Sport in the Community: An Overview and Assessment of ‘Sport for Development and Peace.’” In: Sharpe, E., Mair, H. and Yuen, F. (Editors) Community Development: Applications for Leisure, Sport and Tourism. Venture Publishing Inc., 171-182.

Giulianotti, R. and Darnell, S.C. (2016) “Sport for Development and Peace.” In: Houlihan, B. and Malcolm, D (Editors) Sport and Society: A Student Introduction (3rd Edition). Sage, 180-198.

Darnell, S.C. and Millington, R. (2016) “Modernization, Neoliberalism and Sports Mega-events: Evolving Discourses in Latin America.” In: Gruneau, R. and Horne, J. (Editors) Mega-events and Globalization: Capital, Cultures and Spectacle in a Changing World Order. Routledge, 65-80.

Darnell, S.C. and Huish, R. (2016) “Cuban Sport and the Challenges of South-South Solidarity.” In: Hayhurst, L., Kay, T. and Chawansky, M. (Editors) Beyond Sport for Development: Transnational Perspectives on Theory, Policy and Practice.Routledge, 35-46.

Darnell, S.C. (2015) “Sport, International Development, and Peace.” In: Giulianotti, R. (Editor) The Routledge Handbook of the Sociology of Sport. Routledge, 429-439.

Hayhurst, L, Millington, R., and Darnell, S.C. (2015) “Sports Event Management: The Non-governmental Agency Perspective.” In: Parent, M. and Chappelet, J.L. (Editors) The Routledge Handbook of Sports Event Management: A Stakeholder Approach. Routledge, 397-416.

Darnell, S.C. (2014) “Ethical Challenges and Principal Hurdles in Sport-for-Development Work.” In: Young, K. and Okada, C. (Editors) Sport, Social Development, and Peace. Emerald Press. 

Darnell, S.C. and Hayhurst, L. (2014) “De-colonising sport-for-development: Critical insights from post-colonial feminist theory.” In Schulenkorf, N. and Adair, D. (Editors) Global Sport-for-Development: Critical Perspectives. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 33-61. 

Darnell, S.C. (2012) “Managing Whiteness in ‘Sport for Development and Peace’ Internships,” in Joseph, J., Darnell, S.C., and Nakamura, Y. (Editors) Race and Sport in Canada: Intersecting Inequalities. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press, 187-212.

Currently Funded Projects

Connaught New Researcher Award, University of Toronto, 2015-2017
$9,951 - “Physical and Political Activity? Understanding Elite Athletes as Social and Political Activists”

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), 2014-2016
Research Grant
£335,000 - “Sport for a Better World? A Social Scientific Investigation of the ‘Sport for Development and Peace’ Sector”
Co-applicants: Professor Richard Giulianotti (PI), Dr. David Howe, Loughborough University

Olympic Studies Centre, Lausanne Switzerland, 2012
Postgraduate Research Grant Program
CHF 4,000 - “The Olympic Movement and the Development of Global Citizenship Education Policy”

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), 2011-2013
Standard Research Grant
$77,643 - “The Role of Sport in South-South Cooperation: Understanding the impacts of Cuba's sport-for-development programs in El Salvador, Uganda and Zambia”
Co-applicants: Dr. Robert Huish (PI), Professor David Black, Dalhousie University, and Professor Bruce Kidd, University of Toronto