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  • 1.
    Fahlén, Josef
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Sport policy in Sweden2016In: International Journal of Sport Policy, ISSN 1940-6940, E-ISSN 1940-6959, Vol. 8, no 3, p. 515-531Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Contemporary sport policy in Sweden is the result of a century-long relationship between national and local governments and voluntary, non-profit and membership-based club sport which has resulted in extensive financial support to organised sport. The relationship is defined by an 'implicit contract' in which the government decides on the extent and the purpose of the funding, and the recipient, the Swedish Sports Confederation, determines the details of the distribution and administration. These funds are distributed to 20,164 sport clubs and their 3,147,000 members in exchange for the realisation of social policies on public health and the fostering of democratic citizens. While an important cornerstone of the relationship has been the autonomy and self-determination of the recipient of the funds in their capacities as civil society organisations, recent decades have witnessed an increase in demands on performance outputs. These demands have explicated a wider social responsibility for organised sport and entailed a system for follow-up and control of the results of the government support via key performance indicators. In these ways, the corporatist agreement and consensus traditionally characterising the public–civil society interaction has been accompanied by governing mechanisms associated with neo-liberal ideologies which in turn are putting the sustainability of the implicit contract to the test.

  • 2.
    Fahlén, Josef
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Åsrum Skille, Eivind
    Faculty of Public Health, Hedmark University College, Elverum, Norway.
    State sport policy for indigenous sport: inclusive ambitions and exclusive coalitions2017In: International Journal of Sport Policy, ISSN 1940-6940, E-ISSN 1940-6959, no 1, p. 173-187Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    With the policy aim ‘Sport for all’ as a backdrop, this paper investigates sport policies for Sami sport in Sweden and Norway (the Sami is the indigenous people residing in the northern parts of Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden). By applying an Advocacy Coalition Framework, the purpose of the paper is to explore how the organisation of and possibilities to exercise Sami sport are affected by political coalitions, social structures and institutions. Drawing on data from policy documents and interviews with government and Sami Parliament representatives, results show how institutionalised relationships affect the general ambitions to provide sport for all and the more specific ambitions to reach underrepresented groups. In both countries, dominant coalitions are made up by the institutionalised cooperation between the states’ Ministry of Culture and the umbrella sport organisations. Alternative and emerging coalitions are made up by the Sami sport organisations, the Sami Parliaments and the Sami policy units  f the states. While the dominant coalition is stronger in Sweden, the alternative coalition is stronger in Norway. These differences are interpreted as being results of policy elements outside the policy subsystem of sport – the two countries’ different relationships to legal adoptions of indigenous rights. These findings suggest that approaching sport organisations outside dominant coalitions can be conducive in reaching sport for all ambitions.

  • 3.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Centre for Sport Policy and Politics, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
    Sam, Mike
    University of Otago.
    From 'passive custodian' to 'active advocate': tracing the emergence and sport-internal transformative effects of sport policy advocacy2019In: International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, ISSN 1940-6940, E-ISSN 1940-6959, Vol. 11, no 3, p. 447-463Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Organised sport has become a legitimate interest group, with potential influence in wider policy-making circles. Building on a distinction between because-of motives and in-order-to motives, the purpose of this study is to analyse why sport organisations conduct advocacy while offering an assessment of the sport-internal transformative effects of advocacy activities. The analysis is based on interviews with 46 elected and staff representatives of Swedish Regional Sport Federations, and it shows (1) that a perceived de-institutionalization of organised sport’s monopolistic position in Sweden underpins the imperative to conduct advocacy, and (2) that the overarching goal-oriented purpose of advocacy is to further sport organisations’ role as advocates in future policy processes. This indicates that sport organisations are transitioning from a ‘passive custodian’ to an ‘active advocate’ role in relation to the government. We propose that this latter role may include a professionalisation of advocacy activities, and that advocacy, therefore, may accentuate internal tensions related to the trade-off between efficiency and democracy, create a need for sport-internal advocacy, and undermine future advocacy claims and/or access to policy processes.

  • 4.
    Strittmatter, Anna-Maria
    et al.
    Department of Cultural and Social Studies, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Centre for Sport Policy and Politics, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
    Fahlén, Josef
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Department of Cultural and Social Studies, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway.
    Skille, Eivind
    Faculty of Public Health, Norway Inland University of Applied Sciences, Elverum, Norway.
    Sport policy analysis revisited: the sport policy process as an interlinked chain of legitimating acts2018In: International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, ISSN 1940-6940, E-ISSN 1940-6959, Vol. 10, no 4, p. 621-635Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    By providing an analytical framework that draws on a conceptualisation of legitimacy in organisation studies, this paper demonstrates that the sport policy process can be understood as an interlinked chain of legitimating acts. Based on recent suggestions in organisation theory literature on how to approach legitimacy and legitimation, we applied the framework on a small sample of published sport policy studies to demonstrate its utility. By applying the framework, six interweaved and interweaving elements of the legitimating act within sport policy processes were identified: legitimacy-seeking organisation, subject, source(s), strategy, bases and scenario. The analysis shows that each of the six elements works by intersecting within each phase of the policy process. The main conclusion is that consequences – often unintended – resulting from legitimating acts in one phase have legitimacy-related implications for the other phases of the policy process. As pressing as pinpointing the use of all elements of the framework is, it is equally important to distinguish each of the elements in order to fulfil the analytical potential of the proposed framework. Since sport policy processes in practice rely primarily on organisations and organisational action, future sport policy research would benefit from this type of framework connecting organisations and organising to policy processes.

  • 5.
    Österlind, Malin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Sport policy evaluation and governing participation in sport: governmental problematics of democracy and health2016In: International Journal of Sport Policy, ISSN 1940-6940, E-ISSN 1940-6959, Vol. 8, no 3, p. 347-362Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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