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Sport policy practice and outcome: theoretical and empirical approaches

European Journal for Sport and Society

Background to this Special Issue

Governments tend to have high expectations with regards to their involvement in sport at a continental, national, regional or local level. Nevertheless, multiple issues concerning sport policy remain uncertain, complex and intractable. Difficulties in problem definition, as well as uncertainties regarding causal chains and working mechanisms can make the expression and implementation of sport policies a wicked problem. Moreover, the propensity for sport policy remedies to result in unintended consequences or new policy challenges, which in some cases can exacerbate existing problems, must be taken into account (Sam, 2009).

This complexity in sport policy design and implementation is often accompanied by a limited critical reflexivity in sport policy (e.g. Mansfield, 2016). Indeed, there is an urgent need for greater critical reflexivity in sociological studies of sport policy in order to help us rethink current normative methods and policy actions if we are to enhance our understanding of the impact of sport policy implementation on society. Only then can we begin to move away from the ‘Great Sport Myth’ notion described by Coakley (2015), which tend to reproduce overly simplistic constructions of the ‘goodness’ of sport and its potential to bring social objectives closer (Elling, 2018). One could say that nowadays there is a seemingly naturalized, normative and instrumental view of sport participation and sport policy, with a presumption of links between sport on the one hand and various democratic, economic, educational, social, cultural, political and health values on the other hand. These claims, however, are rarely backed up by empirical evidence (Coalter, 2008).

This special issue intends to showcase cutting-edge research on the relevant and multifaceted topic of sport policy, bringing together contributions on policy structures and policy-making, and on working mechanisms and outcomes of sport policy. We welcome quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method research, and both theoretical and empirical studies. Interdisciplinary perspectives are invited.

Submission guidelines

Submission of full papers (about 7.000-8.000 words): 1st December 2019

Final submission of production ready papers: 29th March 2020

For author instructions, please go to ‘Instructions for Authors’ at: https://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?journalCode=ress20&page=instructions

Questions specifically to do with this special issue can be directed to Dr. Remco Hoekman (r.hoekman@mulierinstituut.nl)

When you are ready, you can submit your paper via the link below.

Submit a Manuscript

Guest Editors:

- Dr. Remco Hoekman (Mulier Institute / Radboud University, The Netherlands)

- Prof. Jeroen Scheerder (KU Leuven, Belgium)


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