Keywords: Sport History; International Relations; International History.
The essay examines the growing literature about sports in the history of international relations, broadly defined. Rather than proposing a purely chronological exposition of books and articles, it classifies different works on the basis of their perspective - a choice that leads to the definition of three main areas of historical writing. The first section deals with sports as a component of the international system; the second part points out that sports has developed a relatively autonomous institutional system; the final one considers the role and uses of sports in foreign policy. In its conclusion, the essay suggests that Italian historians are latecomers to the study of sports in international relations, although in the last few years a small number of Italian scholars have begun to investigate such relationship.