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Sport policy evaluation and governing participation in sport: governmental problematics of democracy and health
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, ISSN 1940-6940 (Print) 1940-6959 (Online)Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Sport and participation in sport has become an important welfare policy issue and is regarded as a solution to many of the ‘problems’ that face contemporary societies. Together with the ambition of using sport as a policy tool there has also been an intensification in the use of evaluation measures to judge whether sport delivers services in line with policy objectives. This study draws on the concept of governmentality to examine one such sport policy evaluation, a Swedish state-appointed Commission of Inquiry on sport. The purpose is to elucidate the Commission’s problematisation of the socio-political role and function of sport and participation in contemporary Sweden. The analysis showed that the Commission adopted two main ‘problematics’. The democratic problematic concerned a commitment to issues of democracy and equality of opportunities and specified a particular problem of sport; sport excludes rather than includes. The second, the health problematic concerned a commitment to issues of public health and physical activity and focused upon a particular problem of the population; people are physically inactive and unhealthy. The argument being proposed in this article is that these two problematics construct the ‘problem’ of sport and the sport (non)participant in specific ways, draw on particular forms of knowledges and discourses, with certain implications for the judgements made and the solutions proposed by the Commission.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2016.
Keyword [en]
Sport, participation, policy, evaluation, governmentality, Sweden
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-117430DOI: 10.1080/19406940.2015.1123755OAI: diva2:907507
Available from: 2016-02-29 Created: 2016-02-29 Last updated: 2016-03-01Bibliographically approved

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Österlind, Malin
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Department of Education

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