From silos to a unified field? Mapping academic production in sport for development
The URL has been copied
The URL has been copied
Banner of European Journal of Sport Society published by Taylor and Francis.
Louis Moustakas and Katrin Bauer of the German Sport University provide an updated review of the current state of academic literature in SFD

Since Schulenkorf and colleague's initial integrated review of the sport for development literature almost ten years ago, SFD as an academic field has continued to grow and evolve. This growing academinc output, however, has not come without criticism

In particular, concerns have been raised about the quality of evidence presented, the dominance of the Global North within SFD research, and the apparent lack of transdisciplinary cooperation in the field. In the following, the authors focus specifically on these latter last two points and use a bibliometric analysis of SFD literature to identify authorship, disciplinary and thematic patterns within this work.

Overall, the results show that SFD is still a highly Northern-led field and this is reinforced by several small, highly productive, self-referential authorship consortia. In other words, small groups of Global North authors regularly collaborate on articles and frequently cite these regularly collaborators. 

In light of this, the authors critically assess these trends and reiterate a number of recommendations to enhance disciplinary and international collaboration in SFD. These include enhancing involvement of Global South scholars in academic organisations involved in SFD, as well as more broadly reconsidering what and where 'knowledge' can be located in the field. 


University Lecturer
University of Applied Sciences Kufstein


All countries
All regions
Does not apply
Sustainable Development Goals
Does not apply
Target Group

Related Articles

beautiful game netflix poster

Netflix debuts 'The Beautiful Game' based on the Homeless World Cup

William Noyes
The URL has been copied
basketball net

Rights organisations call for end to French basketball hijab ban

William Noyes
The URL has been copied
conference attendees pose in front of a screen

Sport for Tomorrow Conference 2024: Event report

The URL has been copied
Living Lab activities in the Czech Republic

Participatory approaches in sport for development: Experiences from around the world

Paul Hunt
The URL has been copied