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Policy, Politics and Path Dependency: Sport Development in Australia and Finland

  • Green, Mick
  • Collins, Shane
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    Sport development as a public policy priority has historically been on the periphery of governments' political agendas. This is not the case in the early twenty-first century however. Over the past decade, in nations as diverse as Canada, China, Germany, Norway, Poland, Singapore and the United Kingdom, public policies for sport development-related activity have increased in salience. This article reviews and analyses national sport development policy (across the mass-elite sport spectrum) in Australia and Finland; two countries with quite distinct political, cultural and sporting backgrounds. The analysis explores whether a path dependency approach can help towards a better understanding of sport development activity in each country. Our conclusions suggest that Australia (elite sport) and Finland (Sport for All) have remained on quite specific sport development pathways with little deviation, despite a few programs created in Australia to increase the levels of sport participation for targeted groups such as school children, women and indigenous Australians.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1441352308701116
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Sport Management Review.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 3 (November)
    Pages: 225-251

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:11:y:2008:i:3:p:225-251
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    1. Ian Marsh, 2005. "Neo-liberalism and the Decline of Democratic Governance in Australia: A Problem of Institutional Design?," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 53, pages 22-42, 03.
    2. Ashley Lavelle, 2005. "Social Democrats and Neo-Liberalism: A Case Study of the Australian Labor Party," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 53, pages 753-771, December.
    3. Leong Liew, 2005. "China's Engagement with Neo-liberalism: Path Dependency, Geography and Party Self-Reinvention," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(2), pages 331-352.
    4. Joseph Ruane & Jennifer Todd, 2007. "Path Dependence in Settlement Processes: Explaining Settlement in Northern Ireland," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 55, pages 442-458, 06.
    5. Deeg, Richard, 2001. "Institutional change and the uses and limits of path dependency: The case of German finance," MPIfG Discussion Paper 01/6, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
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