chapter  1
8 Pages

Analysing sport policy in a globalising context

ByIan Henry, Ling-Mei Ko

The literature in policy analysis has traditionally incorporated a wide range of foci; for example, in the study of policy institutions, policy processes and policy outcomes (Parsons, 1996). It encompasses both analysis for policy (i.e. analysis that makes a direct contribution to the policy process, clarifying the criteria against which policy is to be judged or enhancing decisionmaking against agreed criteria) and analysis of policy (i.e. the study of the policy process itself and explanation of how the policy process operates, considering for example issues such as in whose interests does policy operate, and to what ends; Ham and Hill, 1993). The scale of policy analysis also varies from the micro level often associated with understanding the nature and impact of incremental change in a specific context; to the meso level which may focus on policy making within a limited cultural, social, political or economic horizon; to macro-level concerns with global phenomena or with widespread, general or ‘universal’ impacts such as feminist concerns with impact of policy on gender relations (Marshall, 1999). The range of concerns outlined above has become increasingly evident in the sport policy literature, interest in which has grown rapidly over the last decade or so. The appearance of articles on sport in journals addressing generic policy domains, and of a significant journal dedicated specifically to the analysis of sports policy (The International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics), bear witness to the growing volume of the literature, the diversity of theoretical bases on which it draws, and its widening comparative, international and transnational foci (Bergsgard, Houlihan, Mangset, Nødland, and Rommetvedt, 2007; Green and Houlihan, 2005b; Henry, Al-Tauqi, Amara, and Lee, 2007). However, rarely has the range of methodologies, theoretical orientations and geographical foci been explicitly considered, in particular in relation to sports policy. This book seeks to redress this imbalance, focusing on different disciplinary and theoretical traditions, different methodological foundations both in terms of methods adopted and the ontological and epistemological foundations or assumptions on which such methods are based, and different geopolitical constituencies, bridging the analysis ‘for’ and analysis ‘of’ policy approaches.