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Governing under advanced liberalism: sport policy and the social investment state


  • Mick Green



Since the election in 1997 of a New Labour Government in the United Kingdom, a growing number of analyses have provided insights into, and critiques of, what has been termed the “social investment stateâ€\x9D. To date, these analyses have interrogated particular developments and distinct issues in a number of key social welfare policy-related sectors, including education, citizenship, the family, and poverty/employment. Notable by its absence, however, is the contribution that policies for sport and physical activity are now playing in the realisation of New Labour’s social investment strategies. This article therefore interrogates and registers the growing salience of sport policy interventions for the construction of a social investment state within the broader political context of governing under “advanced liberalâ€\x9D rationalities. The “active citizenâ€\x9D, and children and young people, in particular, are valorised and appear centre-stage as the focus for these interventions. This child-centred focus is problematised, as is the argument that, under prevailing political rationalities of advanced liberalism, government “steersâ€\x9D rather than “rowsâ€\x9D and “enablesâ€\x9D rather than “commandsâ€\x9D. Under these conditions, while children are deemed deserving of investment, there may be other groups who are deemed less deserving, for example, older people who, unlike children and young people have little currency in a future-oriented world. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLP 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Mick Green, 2007. "Governing under advanced liberalism: sport policy and the social investment state," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 40(1), pages 55-71, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:policy:v:40:y:2007:i:1:p:55-71
    DOI: 10.1007/s11077-007-9034-y

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ian Bache, 2003. "Governing through Governance: Education Policy Control under New Labour," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 51(2), pages 300-314, June.
    2. Mike Raco & Rob Imrie, 2000. "Governmentality and rights and responsibilities in urban policy," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 32(12), pages 2187-2204, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Harris, Kevin & Adams, Andrew, 2016. "Power and discourse in the politics of evidence in sport for development," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 97-106.


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