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Barrie Houlihan

The article provides an analysis of the transition of antidoping policy from a series of relatively discrete processes, confined to individual sports, events, or countries, to a global policy that comprises a complex network of relationships involving governmental and nongovernmental organizations. Regime theory is used to examine the nature of the policy process at the international level, focusing particularly on the difficulties of defining the objective of harmonization and of achieving compliance. The characteristics of the regime are identified, and issues of resource dependence, capacity building, verification of compliance, and the increasing centrality of government to policy implementation are examined. Despite the constant risk of defection and the tensions within the regime, the conclusion is drawn that the regime should not be deemed ineffective. Increasing effectiveness, however, is likely to occur at the cost of progressive marginalization of sports organizations.

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Barrie Houlihan

The paper explores the relationship between globalization and the concept of cultural imperialism. In addition, the paper addresses the problem of assessing the significance of particular sports and forms of organization of sport in the relationship between the global culture and recipient cultures. The paper distinguishes between the reach or penetration of the global culture and the response of recipient communities. Material is drawn from a number of countries including Ireland, Australia, and those in the Caribbean to identify six distinct patterns of globalization. The paper explores the factors that affect the extent of penetration by the global culture and those factors that produce a passive, participative, or conflictual response by local cultures.

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Mick Green and Barrie Houlihan

This article investigates the nature of, and policy outcomes from, the relationship between federal/central government departments and agencies and the national sporting organizations (NSOs) for athletics in Australia and the United Kingdom. We draw on neo-Foucauldian writings on “governmentality” to problematize governmental activities directed at shaping, channeling, and guiding the conduct of NSOs. We conclude that, although effective “responsibilization” of NSOs remains a clear ambition, governments in both countries have shown themselves to be very willing to apply disciplinary forms of practice in order to ensure compliance with prevailing government rationalities.