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The Sport, Development and Peace Sector: A Model of Four Social Policy Domains


This paper examines the ‘sport, development and peace’ (SDP) sector which has grown substantially at a global level over the past decade. The SDP sector is located conceptually within the broader ‘global civil society’, a highly contested policy field that features diverse political actors and ideologies. The main discussion sets out four ideal-types within the SDP policy domain that tend to be associated with specific institutions: first, neo-liberal social policies, as embodied by private or commercial interests, such as transnational corporations and forms of ‘corporate social responsibility’; second, ‘developmental interventionist’ policies associated with non-governmental and community-based organisations; third, ‘strategic developmentalist’ policies associated with national and international governmental organisations, and sport federations; and, fourth, social justice policies associated with new social movements and critical NGOs. Each of these domains is examined in detail. Three main types of interrelationship across the domains are then identified. The paper concludes by arguing for a more sophisticated understanding of sport's policy capabilities, stronger cross-domain partnerships and a renewal of the SDP sector through a fresh focus on social justice issues.

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Journal of Social Policy
  • ISSN: 0047-2794
  • EISSN: 1469-7823
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-social-policy
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