Analysis of sports policy in Greece, through a strategic relations perspective 1980-93
The aim of this study is to identify the changing nature of sports policy in Greece in the period 1980-93. Key themes addressed were the relationship between policy goals and the political values of the principal political actors; the impact of the changing nature of the economic and social structure on policy goals and implementation; and the significance of national, local and transnational influences and contexts for sports policy. This study reflects a concern to develop knowledge in this field, in the sense both that Greek sports policy as an object of study has received little research attention, and that the framework of strategic relations theory, which has informed this analysis, has not been employed to date in investigations of sports policy systems in the literature. Gathering of data in Greece, incorporated both secondary sources, which provided aspects of the structural picture of sport, and primary data derived from interviews, which principally focused on the relations between actual policy outcomes, the goals of individuals and groups, and the struggles occurring within the social and political structure. Interviews were undertaken at various levels within the hierarchies of sports organisation and of the state. The principal elements of the concluding analysis in this study were: first, a focus on political change, from the socialist to right wing government, which resulted in changes in economic and social policy, which were themselves reflected in the nature of sports policy; second, a focus on the position of groups and individuals, and the strategic relations within the structures which are subject to policy changes; and third, an analysis of how local, national, and transnational influences have mediated the context of sports policy in Greece from 1980 to 1993. Having concluded the analysis of empirical data, a number of key themes are developed. These include the significance of the political values of the principal parties on the nature of policy goals at national level; the evidence of clientelistic relations between central government and national governing bodies of sport; patterns of corporatism in the relations between local government and local sporting bodies; and the impact of political partisanship in the relations between central and local government and its implications for sports policy at local government level. The study concludes by reviewing these phenomena within the context of the conceptual framework implied by strategic relations theory.