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Electoral discourse and the party politicization of sport in multi-level systems: analysis of UK elections 1945-2011

Chaney, Paul ORCID: 2015. Electoral discourse and the party politicization of sport in multi-level systems: analysis of UK elections 1945-2011. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics 7 (2) , pp. 159-180. 10.1080/19406940.2014.921230

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Mandate and accountability theory state that governments should implement the policies that they promised voters. Accordingly, this study addresses a key lacuna by exploring the role of electoral politics in shaping public policy on sport. Attention centres on issue-salience and policy framing in party manifestos in post-war UK elections. In an era of multi-level governance, the analysis also explores the impact of devolution in the UK where, since 1998, sport policy is mandated in four electoral systems in place of earlier, single state-wide ballots. The findings reveal that there has been a sharp increase in issue-salience over recent decades – thereby confirming the party politicization of sport as part of the wider rise of ‘valence politics’. They also show how parties increasingly frame sport proposals to achieve non-sport aims such as promoting social welfare and boosting international standing. Notably, the data underline the territorialization of sport policy following the UK’s move to quasi-federalism – as policy framing is now contingent on ‘regional’ socio-historical factors and party politics, including nation – building by civic nationalist parties.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1940-6940
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 03:23

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