Call for Papers | What did New Public Management do to sport? | Workshop, Stockholm University, Department of History, Friday 23/9, 2016


Since the 1980s, neo-liberalism has been both an ideology and a social and political praxis that has advocated economic liberalization, privatization, the deregulation of markets and reduction in government spending. Through New Public Management, practices from the private sector have been used to manage the public sector by which new power techniques for controlling and conducting both state institutions and NGOs have been elaborated and put into use. Particularly since the 1990s a shift in the relationship between state and civil society has taken place which can be depicted in terms of decentralisation, privatisation of welfare functions and deregulations of markets. These changes have affected public policy as well as the relationship between public authorities (state as well as local) on the one hand, and the civil society on the other. Researchers have argued that a shift has taken place from ‘voice to service’ in civil society. Civil society is no longer supposed to form opinions, represent the views of the citizens or voice social critique but to deliver services such as public health, social integration and education. Sometimes it is even meant to further economic development.

This workshop will discuss and analyse how this shift in public policy has affected the interaction between public authorities and sport organisations in different countries. What kind of strategies has New Public Management brought about for governments to engage with sport organisations, and vice versa? How have these strategies affected sport policy – i.e. sports objectives, normative standards, discursive practices and relocation of resources, surveillance systems etc? The workshop will be internationally comparative in approach, asking after the specific solutions and strategies that have been chosen in different countries by different governments and sport branches, and seeking to understand particular motivations and outcomes. It will also seek to compare sport organizations to other governmental and non-governmental organisations. Have sport organisations, as the Swedish case seems to suggests, been governed in a particular way?


To participate or submit a proposal, please contact one of the organizers.

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