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Producing success: A critical analysis of athlete development governance in six countries
Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3918-7904
Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Research Institute for Olympic Sport, Jyväskylä, Finland.
Department of Tourism, Sport and Society, Lincoln University, Lincoln, New Zealand.
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2018 (English)In: International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, ISSN 1940-6940, E-ISSN 1940-6959, Vol. 10, no 2, p. 215-234Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper aims to analyse and compare athlete development governance in Australia, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland. We adopt a Foucauldian framework to theorise athlete development governance as shaped by and based on distinct ‘government mentalities’ and ‘modes of governance’. Qualitative procedures were used to collect and analyse 58 documents related to the 6 countries’ athlete development governance and to conduct 14 informal interviews with national elite sport system experts. Our results confirm other scholars’ findings that sport governance is moving towards managerialist government mentalities. Specific modes of governance that are being implemented to systematise athlete development include targeted forms of funding and the modelling of athlete development. However, the results also highlight how athlete development governance is a site of negotiation, arising from (a) historical events, (b) sociopolitical contexts, (c) financial conditions, (d) government mentalities and (e) sport science knowledge. Our examination demonstrates how these factors not only problematise athlete development governance but also allow for distinctive local athlete development government discursivities and/or sport-specific adjustments such as less result-driven and more holistic interpretations of athlete development. We conclude by outlining implications intended to support stakeholders’ (e.g. coaches’, sport directors’) engagement in conceptualising, implementing and/or revising athlete development frameworks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2018. Vol. 10, no 2, p. 215-234
Keywords [en]
High-performance/Elite sport systems, sport governance, governmentality, athlete development models
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-71598DOI: 10.1080/19406940.2017.1348381ISI: 000435854700002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85039730506OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-71598DiVA, id: diva2:1280439
Available from: 2019-01-18 Created: 2019-01-18 Last updated: 2019-03-26Bibliographically approved

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Barker-Ruchti, Natalie

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  • apa
  • harvard1
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