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Sport and Social Capital in the European Union


Sport and Social Capital in the European Union

This conference will explore the changing roles and expectations held of sport federations and their impact on patterns of governance and management practices. It will bring together administrators, government representatives, athletes and academics, including scholars from a variety of disciplines and perspectives whose research interests touch upon issues of sports management, governance, and policy, as well as social welfare and non-profit organisations.


11/20/2008 00:00


Milan, Italy

The Olympic Games being held in August 2008 offers a timely opportunity to discuss the governance and management of the increasingly diverse roles of sport organizations. Balancing the need to develop world-class athletes and to encourage grassroots participation is common to all governmental sport policies and requires actionable knowledge in the fields of social science. Today sports organizations, from national federations to local associations, are also seen as important institutions in civil society as well as vehicles for promoting good citizenship and contributing to the achievement of a broad range of social policy objectives. The Institute for Public Administration and the Marie Curie Excellence Grant research group on Sport and Social Capital in the European Union at Università Bocconi are pleased to host an international conference on the increasingly broader social role of sports federations in Milan, Italy on November 20-22, 2008.

The conference will combine keynote speeches, plenary roundtable discussions, presentations of papers and discussions. Keynote addresses will explore key aspects of the changing role of sports federations, including their work with elite athletes, their constituent clubs and members, the key relationships of the federations, such as those with government, international sports organizations and commercial organizations. Plenary roundtable sessions will feature both academics and people from the sports community. They will discuss topical issues about the social impact of sport and the strategy to improve sports governance and management. Topics for these sessions will include: basing funding on medals or social programming; autonomy versus heteronomy of stakeholders; boundaries between sports governance, government and social service organisations; the (sporting) equal opportunities agenda; and the role of sports federations in a consumer-citizen society. Parallel sessions will give participants the opportunity to present and discuss scientific papers, case studies and international, national and local policies. The conference will encourage participants to engage in developing and enhancing future directions for research and practice, and to discuss the inherent social merits and conflicts for the federations in governing both elite and non-elite sporting participants.


For any questions regarding the conference please contact: Mr Vito Di Sarli (Conference Administrator) at


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