chapter  11
21 Pages

European models of sport: governance, organisational change and sports policy in the EU

In this second section of this book, there are a number of references to the development of governance networks and transversal governance. The shift from bureaucratic hierarchical (traditional) forms of governance to transversal networks is one that, while remarked on in the literature as a general tendency (Henry and Lee, 2004; Hoye and Cuskelly, 2007), is particularly clear in the British context. This chapter seeks to tease out the nature of this change and the policy thinking that underpins it, and evaluates an attempt to introduce networked approaches to the development and delivery of sports policy at the local level through County Sports Partnerships undertaken in England in the later stages of the New Labour administration. We start by situating the discussion in a debate about sport policy change in Europe that we have developed elsewhere (Henry and Ko, 2009), outlining a fourfold typology of European policy systems developed by Jean Camy and his colleagues (in VOCASPORT Research Group, 2004) in the VOCASPORT project. Drawing on this typology we subsequently seek to tease out aspects of governance and policy delivery that relate to each of the types and to outline some of the tensions experienced within European policy systems in the ways in which they are subject to forces for change. This provides the context for a discussion of a case study of sport policy change in England that seeks to influence and steer policy through networks and partnerships at the local level in ways that are consistent with what Camy terms the social model.