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


  • Green, Mick
  • Collins, Shane


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Green, Mick & Collins, Shane, 2008. "Policy, Politics and Path Dependency: Sport Development in Australia and Finland," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 225-251, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:11:y:2008:i:3:p:225-251

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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, June.
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    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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, March.
    6. 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.
    7. Freeman, Gary P., 1985. "National Styles and Policy Sectors: Explaining Structured Variation," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(04), pages 467-496, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sotiriadou, Kalliopi (Popi) & Shilbury, David, 2009. "Australian Elite Athlete Development: An Organisational Perspective," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 137-148, August.
    2. Dalton, Bronwen & Wilson, Rachel & Evans, John Robert & Cochrane, Steve, 2015. "Australian Indigenous youth's participation in sport and associated health outcomes: Empirical analysis and implications," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 57-68.
    3. Dawson, Andrew & Phillips, Pamm, 2013. "Coach career development: Who is responsible?," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 477-487.
    4. Thomson, Alana & Darcy, Simon & Pearce, Sonya, 2010. "Ganma theory and third-sector sport-development programmes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth: Implications for sports management," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 313-330, November.
    5. Phillips, Pamm & Newland, Brianna, 2014. "Emergent models of sport development and delivery: The case of triathlon in Australia and the US," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 107-120.
    6. repec:krk:eberjl:v:2:y:2014:i:4:p:31-49 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Downward, Paul & Lera-Lopez, Fernando & Rasciute, Simona, 2011. "The Zero-Inflated ordered probit approach to modelling sports participation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 2469-2477.
    8. Kuang-Hua Hu & Fu-Hsiang Chen & Gwo-Hshiung Tzeng, 2016. "Evaluating the Improvement of Sustainability of Sports Industry Policy Based on MADM," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(7), pages 1-21, June.
    9. Mutter, Felix & Pawlowski, Tim, 2014. "Role models in sports – Can success in professional sports increase the demand for amateur sport participation?," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 324-336.
    10. repec:eee:spomar:v:21:y:2018:i:2:p:101-113 is not listed on IDEAS


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