adoption of new sport policies across geographic boundaries, including institutional factors associated with heterogeneity in adoption speed. Institutional change includes not only practice or structural change at the organizational level but also policy change at the state, regional, or national level
Landy Di Lu and Kathryn L. Heinze
The dismissal of totalitarian regimes across Eastern Europe challenged the strategic orientation of sport in these countries. A central issue concerning the shaping of the new sport policies and the role of democratic states surprisingly as yet has not generated thorough academic analyses. As a result of transformations, the sport sector is undergoing massive adaptations, innovations, and reconfigurations leading to the emergence of new arrangements and actors pursuing different projects. Studying this process from a Strategic Relation perspective invites an analysis of sports policy, which accounts equally for events, actors, structures, and relations. More specifically, this approach offered a fruitful insight into the state and its strategic relations in sport policy making. One aspect of this study of theoretical interest is that, so far as can be ascertained, it is the first time the Strategic Relations approach has been applied to a Communist state.
Michael P. Sam
Taskforces, commissions of inquiry, and advisory committees are significant institutional features in the development of government sport policy. This study analyzes New Zealand’s Ministerial Taskforce on Sport, Fitness, and Leisure (2001) and uses empirical data gathered from observations of consultations, interviews with committee members, and available documents. It is argued that procedural, organizational, and political considerations significantly shaped and constrained the Taskforce’s findings and recommendations. Two fundamental contradictions are discussed. The first concerns the expectations for these bodies to develop both innovative and pragmatic recommendations in light of their ad hoc nature, their broad mandates, and short time lines. The second contradiction speaks to the paradoxical nature of taskforces in developing sport policy, noting in particular their dual roles as both advocates for the sport sector and investigators responsible for addressing problems and issues.
This paper assesses the development of the welfare state as an important factor in state intervention in sport. In the first section, a set of theoretical assumptions for the analysis of the welfare state is developed. The second section presents a typology of tools of state intervention in sport inspired by welfare statism. In the last section an analysis of the Canadian case is presented. The paper indicates the broad impact of the welfare state on sport policies as well as demonstrating the need for more empirical studies.
Policy analytic methods derived from hermeneutics and critical theory are particularly useful for the analysis of sport policy discourse. A key objective of such methods is to provide analyses with the potential to empower stakeholders by locating key attributions and legitimations that direct and constrain policy options. This concern for empowerment links policy analysis to recent arguments for the utility of participatory action research in sport management. Techniques of critical policy analysis provide a useful adjunct tool because they furnish interpretations and critiques that can be used by undervalued or excluded stakeholders to challenge debilitating policy assumptions. Two key Procedures for critical interpretation are illustrated via application to the discourse guiding the formulation of New Zealand's sport policies. Legitimation critique exposes key reasons why athletes were never pivotal to policy deliberations, and why subsequent policy outcomes fail to address key athlete concerns. Attribution critique illumines the presuppositions that caused the development of sport infrastructure or sport programs to be excluded from the policy focus. It is argued that policy design failures of this kind can be averted via the application of critical policy analysis during policy design.
Michael P. Sam
National taskforces and inquiries are used extensively by governments wishing to review their involvement in sport. Underpinning these reviews are dominant ideas like “national unity” or “excellence.” Ideas matter in public policy because they form the basis for framing political judgments and because their meanings are continually translated into future plans and actions (Hoppe, 1993). This study investigates the role of ideas in shaping and circumscribing the findings and recommendations emanating from a national taskforce in New Zealand. Information was gathered through interviews with Taskforce members, observations of public consultations, and analysis of submitted documents. Key ideas included notions of efficiency, competitiveness, and leadership. These ideas are discussed, focusing in particular on their contradictory/paradoxical nature and their role in (re)producing power relations. The paper concludes with future research questions and a call for more critical investigations into sport policy-making.
Mathew Dowling and Marvin Washington
This investigation examined how a network of knowledge-based professionals—the Canadian Sport for Life Leadership Team (CS4LLT)—as a newly emerging organizational form was able to influence the Canadian sport policy and governance process in an attempt to reshape Canadian sport. The analysis draws upon the epistemic community approach (Haas, 1992; Haas & Adler, 1992) and empirical data collected as part of an in-depth case study examination into the leadership team and senior Sport Canada officials. The findings support the notion that the CS4LLT, as a network of knowledge-based professionals with legitimated and authoritative and policy-relevant expertise (epistemic community), was able to influence the Canadian sport policy process through (i) influencing key governmental actors by (re)framing policy-relevant issues and (ii) establishing knowledge/truth claims surrounding athlete development, which, in turn, enabled direct and indirect involvement in and influence over the sport policy renewal process. More broadly, the study draws attention to the potential role and importance of knowledge-based professional networks as a fluid, dynamic, and responsive approach to organizing and managing sport that can reframe policy debates, insert ideas, and enable policy learning.
Michael P. Sam and Steven J. Jackson
This study illustrates how the rules and practices of a task force inquiry shaped the formulation of its policy. Adopting an institutional approach, it analyzes New Zealand’s Ministerial Taskforce on Sport, Fitness and Leisure (2001). Specifically, this article investigates the role of institutional arrangements (including public consultation and submission procedures) in shaping, delimiting, and circumscribing that task force’s findings and recommendations. The investigation consists of a critical analysis of available texts—including recorded observations of public consultations, written submissions, committee notes—and interviews with task force members. Two features of this task force are described and analyzed: (1) its terms of reference and operative assumptions and (2) its rules and procedures that guided the public participation processes. It is shown that the institutional arrangements can channel debates and thereby recast political relations among interests.
Joe Piggin, Steven J. Jackson and Malcolm Lewis
In this article we use Foucault’s conception of games of truth to investigate how truth in public policy is rhetorically constructed through the notion of “transparency.” Data was collected from various public sources regarding a medal target policy promoted by Sport and Recreation New Zealand (Sparc) for the national team at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. By analyzing the multifarious rhetoric surrounding the medal target policy, we show that the notion of transparency, although ostensibly appealing and helpful as a mechanism to justify goals, exposes inherent contradictions that were counter to Sparc’s goals. The discussion encourages scholars and practitioners to conceive of policy as ongoing contests over truth. We suggest that practitioners might benefit from considering the problematic implications of promoting “transparent” public policy.
Jerry Segwaba, Desiree Vardhan and Patrick Duffy
The South African government and the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) have committed to the creation of an active and winning nation through sport. As part of the national sports plan, coaching has been identified as a key element in the success of the South African sports system. In this context, SASCOC commissioned the development of the South African Coaching Framework, which was formally launched in 2011. The development and launch of the Framework has been accompanied by the gathering of research and scoping data to inform the processes of planning, implementation and impact evaluation. This article describes the current position of coaching in South Africa and the key issues being addressed through the South African Coaching Framework. The challenges that remain to be faced in maximising the contribution of sport coaching to the sporting and social vision of the nation are also identifed.