Call for Papers | “Theory and methods in sport policy and politics research” | Special issue of International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, Call ends May 31, 2017

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Studies of sport policy or politics can draw on, and can contribute to, a broad range of theoretical and methodological approaches. Macro-level theories of the state and political economy, meso-level frameworks of policy formulation and implementation, and micro-level approaches to examining engagement, influence and resistance can all valuably enhance the study of sport policy and politics at levels from the global to local. Many empirical studies of a variety of sport policy and politics issues have used such theories since Houlihan’s (2005) critique that ‘there is remarkably little analysis of sport policy that utilizes the major models and frameworks for analysis widely adopted in other policy areas’. Nevertheless, it remains relatively rare for sport policy and politics literature to extensively or explicitly reflect on the value and use of particular mainstream theories and even rarer still for such research to contribute to the wider development of theories within policy and politics disciplines.

Similar issues arise when considering methodologies utilised for the study of sport policy and politics. There has been limited application of innovative methodologies to the study of sport policy and politics and few articles have contributed to broader methodological debates. Instead, much of the research in the International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics has adopted well-used qualitative methods. There may be value in greater consideration and use of quantitative or mixed research methods. The possibilities and implications of different data analysis approaches in addressing particular research problems in sport policy and politics would also benefit from further exploration. Overall, therefore, there is significant scope for further methodological reflection, interrogation and innovation in respect of the study of sport policy and politics.

As a result, the purpose of this special issue is to advance debates, understanding and application of theory and methods in sport policy and politics research. Papers associated with any sport policy or politics topic are welcomed,  so long as they lead and contribute to theoretical or methodological debates. Papers may be based on primary research which demonstrates the novel application of particular theories or methods. Papers may alternatively review the use of theories or methods in sport policy and politics. Conceptual papers that review theories or methods developed in other disciplines and consider their application to the study of sport policy and politics may be particularly valuable. Papers that explore how studies of sport policy and politics may contribute to theoretical or methodological debates in policy and politics disciplines are also strongly welcomed.

Among the topics which might be covered are the following:

  • Power and ideology in sport policy and politics
  • Theorising continuity and change in sport policy and politics
  • Theorising the state, and state-civil society relations, in sport policy and politics
  • Ontology and epistemology in sport policy and politics research
  • Comparative methodologies for sport policy and politics research
  • Research synthesis for sport policy and politics
  • Applications of interdisciplinary and mixed method approaches in sport policy and politics research
  • Novel qualitative and quantitative methods for sport policy and politics research
  • The use of big data in sport policy and politics research
  • Methodologies for sport policy evaluation
  • Theoretical and methodological development across political science and sport policy and politics disciplines
  • The application of mainstream theories, models and concepts to the study of sport policy or sport politics
  • The development of innovative conceptual ideas or frameworks to understand sport policy and politics

Deadline for the submission of abstracts: 31st May 2017

Files should include a title, authors and abstracts of no more than 250 words. These should be sent to Dr Iain Lindsey, at iain.lindsey@durham.ac.uk

Confirmation of invitations to submit full papers: 14th June 2017

Deadline for submission of papers: 30th November 2017 Paper length: Between 8,000 and 10,000 words including references Submission process: Papers should be submitted through ScholarOne

Further information about the journal and the submission process can be found at www.tandfonline.com/risp

Editorial information

  • Editor-in-Chief: Jonathan Grix, University of Birmingham
  • Co-Editors: Daniel Bloyce, University of Chester, UK
  • Co-Editors: Iain Lindsey, Durham University, UK
  • Co-Editors: Veerle De Bosscher, Free University of Brussels, Belgium

 

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