The purpose of this paper is to fill the gap in the research literature on how sport can be used more productively as a peacebuilding device in post-conflict countries.
This paper uses interviewing method that includes both semi-structured and unstructured interviews with trainers, instructors and children involved in implementing Open Fun Football Schools (OFFSs) in Kosovo.
Findings show that OFFSs have played a vital role in peacebuilding in Kosovo by bringing together people from different ethnic backgrounds in Kosovo, which contributed to social inclusion of Albanians and Serbs, and other communities by changing their initial attitudes toward one another.
The main research limitation is the usage of semi-structured and unstructured questionnaires instead of structured questionnaires, which would provide more generalized conclusions about the OFFSs. More research is needed on this topic to investigate the effect of similar programs in other country contexts.
The most important practical implication of the research is that conflict mitigation through football sports programs and activities can be used in other similar contexts by donors and the international community. OFFSs offer a hope for peacebuilding, and if adequately implemented can contribute to peacebuilding in post-conflict societies similar to Kosovo’s context. The positive attitude changes as a result of participation in the OFFS programs shows that these joint programs can promote better ethnic relations. There is a need for the expansion of such programs to reach more people.
The study provides an original contribution as there has been almost no prior research which actually measured the effects of OFFSs on change of youth attitudes through the integrated sport programs with different ethnicity in Kosovo.
Krasniqi, S. and Krasniqi, B. (2019), "Sport and peacebuilding in post-conflict societies: the role of Open Fun Football Schools in Kosovo", Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 145-157. https://doi.org/10.1108/JACPR-07-2018-0369
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