Small states: sport and politics at the margin

Houlihan, Barrie and Zheng, Jinming (2015) Small states: sport and politics at the margin. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 7 (3). pp. 329-344. ISSN 1940-6940

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The aims of this article are the identification of the objectives of small states for participation in international sport and investing in elite sport and the analysis of the strategies that small states adopt to maximize their ability to achieve their sport and non-sport objectives. The article discusses the problem of the definition of smallness and explores objective, relative and subjective definitions. There follows an analysis of the characteristics of vulnerability and capacity in relation to strategy development and a review of the utility of international relations theory for the analysis of small states. The article continues with the identification of five possible strategies that might be adopted by small states (independent/autonomous, isomorphist/imitative, isolationist, collective and camp follower) and the resources needed to operationalize the strategies. Following a brief review of the examples of Singapore and Ireland, the article concludes that the scope for the adoption of independent strategies is likely to narrow given the global ambitions of international federations and the International Olympic Committee. The conclusion also considers the prospects for stimulating research in the area of small state sport policy and argues that the prospects are not good.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: small states, sport policy, international relations, strategy development, sport diplomacy
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2018 16:06
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 07:50

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