In the increasing amount of published research and critical commentary on sport for development and Peace (SDP) two related trends are apparent. The first is a clear belief that, under certain circumstances, sport may make a useful contribution to work in international development and peace building; the second is that criticisms of it are frequently constructive, intended to support the work of practitioners in the field by outlining the limitations of what may be achieved through sport, and under what circumstances. Given these trends, public sociology provides a useful framing device for research and commentary and academics should now engage more directly with practitioners and provide more accessible summaries of their research to those engaged in SDP. We provide a brief introduction to public sociology, and outline its relevance in the sociology of sport, before making suggestions about the incorporation of public sociology into SDP research. Three main overlapping areas of research emerge from a public sociology perspective, and are needed in order to engage in a constructively critical analysis of SDP: descriptive research and evaluation; analysis of claims making; and critical analysis of social reproduction. The paper concludes with a brief examination of the dilemmas that may be encountered by those engaging in public sociology research, in both the academy and the field.