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    The Impact of Modernisation on Sport Policy Delivery in the Home Countries

    Edwards, Louisa-Jane (2021) The Impact of Modernisation on Sport Policy Delivery in the Home Countries. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.


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    Ongoing public sector reform is a priority across England and Wales in an era of dwindling budgets. In Wales, public sector reform has recently seen the transfer of local authority sport and leisure services to alternative delivery providers (Leisure Trusts) to preserve local presence, retain employment and create the local authority financial savings. The development by former staff of employee-owned businesses to deliver a viable sport and leisure service is presented as an empowering option by policy makers but the reality equates to ‘enforced partnerships’ and financial support from the local authority scaffolded with contracting and performance indicators which brings into question the nature of the relationships involved and the state’s role in shaping the direction of sport and leisure services through making up subjective individuals The broad aim of this thesis is to develop knowledge through the Foucauldian lens of ‘governmentality’ of local authority responses to the modernisation of their sport and leisure services following wider public sector reform. This thesis uses a mainly qualitative comparative case study approach consisting of ten semi structured interviews and secondary data, across two sites in England and Wales. The research draws attention to the hierarchical nature of the ‘judicial power’ evident in the sport policy process between external funders and Leisure Trusts. Funders relationships are predicated on New Public Management principles, an administrative process designed to maximise efficiencies, grounded in targets and monitoring. Foucault (1972) would argue that NPM is utilised as a ‘a technology of government’ designed to retain a ‘sporting gaze’ over its partner using targeted funding agreements.

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