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4th & 5th December 2006


Institute of Public Administration and Healthcare Management (IPAS), Bocconi University, Milan, Italy

Conference Theme:

Social capital is a key component of understanding the relationship between European sport governing bodies and civil society. However, researching social capital in the context of sport governance today requires bringing together two categories of academic literature since, in practice, social capital is often revealed in the field of sport management in complex ways that are rarely named or acknowledged as ‘social capital’. Yet, in 2006, through the media we can find many examples of the use (and misuse) of trust and social ties in sport governance across Europe. This raises important questions: Where are the boundaries of both sport and social capital in theory and practice? How can sport participation and sport management contribute to social capital production? Can we appropriately address the phenomenon of ‘dark’ social capital?

The aim of this two-day conference is to deepen scientific knowledge and to look beyond academic boundaries by exploring key issues common to both academic fields, and by orienting scholarship, research and reflection from both current and historical perspectives (evaluation dimensions) toward future ones (encouraging policy design for empowerment). The goal is to enhance the exchange between scholars of multiple disciplines, creating a space for exchange across research specialisations, emphasising qualitative research in the fields of social capital and of sport management.

Papers within the following areas are particularly welcome:

1.The importance of social capital in the context of European sport, healthcare, leisure, and/or non-profit and public administration

2.What is the relationship between organisational dispute resolution mechanisms, public trust, and social capital?

3.How does social capital affect the representation and management of diversity in sport?

4.What is the role of the media in social capital and/or sporting contexts?

Supported by:

European Commission Marie Curie Excellence Grant (6th Framework) “Sport and Social Capital in the European Union”

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