For small nations like Grenada, New Zealand and Norway, medal counts relative to population are increasingly touted as the most meaningful comparisons with sporting superpowers China, the United States and Germany. In acknowledging that 60% of the world’s states have populations of less than 10 million and 48% of these have less than 5 million inhabitants, this book explores how the ‘minnows’ can build or sustain their sport programmes.
Despite the immense variation among and between small states, this book suggests that scale ‘matters’. The contributors, from Antigua and Barbuda, Finland, Lebanon, Norway, New Zealand, and Sweden demonstrate the challenges and opportunities of governing sport in their respective countries. These works highlight the distinctive policy ‘ecologies’ of sport in small states, marked by the unique responses to global pressures, the domestic realities of having limited resources, and by the close-knit networks of accountability. This volume will help scholars and policy makers to better understand the significance of having fewer ‘degrees of separation’ and the implications this has for sport.
This book was published as a special issue of the International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics.
Table of Contents
1. Sport and small States: The myths, limits and contradictions of the legend of David and Goliath Michael Sam and Steve Jackson (University of Otago, New Zealand)
2. Small states: sport and politics at the margin Barrie Houlihan and Jinming Zheng (Loughborough University, UK)
3. Elite sport in Scandinavian welfare states: legitimacy under pressure? Lars-Tore Ronglan (Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Norway)
4. Challenges and constraints in developing and implementing sports policy and provision in Antigua and Barbuda: Which way now for a small island state? Natalie Darko (Nottingham Trent University) and Chris Mackintosh (Liverpool John Moores University)
5. Resisting self-regulation: An Analysis of sport policy programme making and implementation in Sweden Josef Fahlen, Kim Wickman and Inger Eliasson (University of Umea, Sweden)
6. Sport policy and transformation in small states: New Zealand’s struggle between vulnerability and resilience Michael Sam (University of Otago, New Zealand)
7. A David in the Global Goliaths' sporting Arena: Finland as a small sports nation Pasi Koski and Jari Lamsa (University of Turku, Finland)
8. Sport policy and politics in Lebanon Nadim Nassif (Notre Dame University, Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon) and Mahfoud Amara (Loughborough University, UK)
Michael Sam is Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago where he teaches organisational aspects of sport and sport/leisure policy. His research interests broadly encompass areas of policy, politics and governance as they relate to the public administration/management of sport.
Steven Jackson is a Professor at the University of Otago who specialises in the area of sociology of sport and sport media. His research focuses on globalisation, national identity, media and advertising cultures.