Simon Darnell, Associate Professor, Sport for Development & Peace

  • Associate Professor, Sport for Development & Peace
55 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2W6

About Simon

Academic Training

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

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

MA — School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia

BHK — School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia

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

Watch video of Simon Darnell and his colleague at KPE, Assistant Professor Janelle Joseph, discuss their research into sport as a tool for peace and development.


Selected Publications


Dao, M. and Darnell, S.C. (In Press) “Exploring Vietnamese Sport-for-Development through the Capabilities Approach: A Descriptive Analysis.” Sport in Society.

Collison, H., Giulianotti, R., and Darnell, S.C. (In Press) “Volunteers in the Sport for Development and Peace Sector: Antinomies, Liminality, and Structural Relations.” Sport, Education and Society.

Rosa, D., Sabiston, C., Kuzmocha-Wilks, D., Cairney, J. and Darnell, S.C. (In Press) “Group Differences and Associations among Stress, Emotional Well-Being, and Physical Activity, in International and Domestic University Students.” Journal of American College Health.

Robyn Smith, Madison Danford, Simon C. Darnell, Maria Joaquina Lima Larrazabal & Mahamat Abdellatif (2021) ‘Like, what even is a podcast?’ Approaching sport-for-development youth participatory action research through digital methodologies, Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health. 13(1), 128-145.

Simon C. Darnell, Meredith A. Whitley, Martin Camiré, William V. Massey, Lindsey C. Blom, Megan Chawansky, Shawn Forde & Laura Hayden (2019) Systematic Reviews of Sport for Development Literature: Managerial and Policy Implications, Journal of Global Sport Management

Zipp, S., Smith, T., and Darnell, S.C. (2019) “Capabilities, Gender and Sport: Theorizing a Feminist Practice of the Capabilities Approach in Sport for Development and Peace.” Journal of Sport Management. 33(5), 440-449.

Giulianotti, R., Coalter, F., Collison, H., and Darnell, S.C. (2019) “Rethinking Sportland: A New Research Agenda for the Sport for Development and Peace Sector.” Journal of Sport and Social Issues. 43(6), 411-437. 

Darnell, S.C. and Millington, R. (2019) “Social Justice, Sport and Sociology: A Position Statement.” Quest. 71(2), 175-187. 

Whitley, M., Massey, W., Camiré, M., Blom, L., Chawansky, M., Forde, S., Boutet, M., Borbee, A. and Darnell, S.C. (2019) “A Systematic Review of Sport for Development Interventions Across Six Global Cities.” Sport Management Review. 22(2), 181-193. 

Darnell, S.C., Giulianotti, R., Howe, P.D., and Collison, H. (2018) “Re-assembling Sport for Development and Peace through Actor Network Theory: Insights from Kingston, Jamaica.” Sociology of Sport Journal. 35(2), 89-97.

Giulianotti, R., Darnell, S.C., Collison, H., and Howe, P.D. (2018) “Sport for Development and Peace and the Environment: The Case for Policy, Practice and Research.” Sustainability. 10(7), 2241

Millington, R., Darnell, S.C. and Millington, B. (2018) “Ecological Modernization and the Olympics: The Case of Golf and Rio’s ‘Green’ Games.” Sociology of Sport Journal. 35(1), 8-16. 

Darnell, S.C., Chawansky, M., Marchesseault, D., Holmes, M., Hayhurst, L. (2018) “The State of Play: Critical Sociological Insights into Recent ‘Sport for Development and Peace’ Research.” International Review for the Sociology of Sport. 53(2), 133-151.  

Darnell, S.C. and Dao, M. (2017) “Considering Sport for Development and Peace through the Capabilities Approach.” Third World Thematics. 2(1), 23-36. 

Collison, H., Darnell, S.C., Giulianotti, R., and Howe, P.D. (2017) “The Inclusion Conundrum: A Critical Account of Youth and Gender Issues Within and Beyond the Spaces of Sport for Development and Peace.” Social Inclusion. 5(2), 223-231.

Giulianotti, R., Collison, H., Darnell, S.C., and Howe. P.D. (2017) “Contested States and the Politics of Sport: The Case of Kosovo – Division, Development and Recognition.” International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics. 9(1), 121-136. 

Darnell, S.C. and Huish, R. (2017) “Learning through South-South Development: Cuban-African Partnerships in Sport and Physical Education” Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education. 47(2), 286-299. 


Millington, R. and Darnell, S.C. (Editors) (2020) Sport, Development and Environmental Sustainability. London: Routledge.

Darnell, S.C., Field, R., & Kidd, B. (2019) The History and Politics of Sport-for-Development: Activists, Ideologues and Reformers. Global Culture and Sport Series, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Collison, H., Darnell, S.C., Giulianotti, R., & Howe, D. (Editors) (2019) Routledge Handbook of Sport for Development and Peace. London: Routledge.

Whitley, M., Massey, W., Darnell, S.C. & Smith, B. (Editors) (2018) Sport in Under-resourced, Underdeveloped and Conflict Regions London: Routledge.

Book Chapters 

Darnell, S.C., Razack, S. and Joseph, J. (In Press) “Sport, Social Movements and Digital Media." in Pike, E. (Editor) Elgar Research Handbook on Sport and Society. Elgar.

Darnell, S.C., Smith, T. and Houston, C. (In Press) “Re-visiting Sport-for-Development through Rights, Capabilities, and Global Citizenship.” in Maguire, J., Liston, K., and Falcous, M. (Editors) Palgrave Handbook of Globalisation and Sport. Palgrave.

Millington, R., Darnell, S.C, and Smith, T. (2020) “Sport, International Development and Sustainable Futures: History, Policy, and Potential.” in Millington. B., and Wilson, B. (Editors) Sport and the Environment: Politics and Preferred Futures. Emerald Publishing, 29-46.

Darnell, S.C. and Millington, R. (2020) “Sport for Development and Peace: Convergence and divergence with the Olympic movement.” in Chatziefstathiou, D., Garcia, B., and Seguin, B. (Editors) Routledge Handbook of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Routledge, 345-354.

Collison, H., Darnell, S.C. and Giulianotti, R. (2020) “Rethinking Community in a Sport for Development and Peace Context.” in Jansen, B. (Editor) Rethinking Community through Transdisciplinary Research. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 265-283.

Darnell, S.C. (2020) “Re-assembling ‘Sport for Development and Peace’ through Actor Network Theory.” in Andrews, D., Thorpe, H., Newman, J. (Editors) Sport, Physical Culture and the Moving Body: Materialism, Technologies, Ecologies. Rutgers University Press, 229-245.

Darnell, S.C. and Hayhurst, L.M.C. (2020) “Sport, Globalization and International Development.” in Scherer, J. and Wilson, B. (Editors) Sport and Physical Culture in Canadian Society. Pearson, 309-329.

Darnell, S.C. (2019) “Sport for Development and Democracy.” in Maguire, J., Falcous, M., and Liston, K. (Editors) The Business and Culture of Sports: Society, Politics, Economy, Environment. MacMillan Reference USA, Volume 4, 93-103.

Darnell, S.C. (2019) “SDP and the Environment.” in Collison, H., Darnell, S.C., Giulianotti, R., Howe, D. (Editors) Routledge Handbook of Sport for Development and Peace. Routledge, 396-405.

Darnell, S.C. (2019) “Exploring the Place of Critical Research in Sport for Development and Peace.” in Pringle, R., Larsson, H., Gerdin, G. (Editors) Critical Research in Sport, Health and Physical Education: How to make a difference. Routledge, 27-38.

Currently Funded Projects

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), 2018-2021 Insight Grant $63,905 - “Sport, Development and Environmental Sustainability: History, Policy and Practice”

Early Researcher Award, Province of Ontario, 2016-2021 $100,000 - “Using Participatory Action Research to Understand Sport and Social Development in Toronto, Ontario”