An analysis of the sport policy process in the Republic of Korea: the cases of elite sport development and sport for all

2010-01-29T09:16:15Z (GMT) by Eunah Hong
This thesis aims to analyse the sport policy process in the Republic of Korea through an examination of the cases of elite sport and sport for all. This study assesses the utility of a number of theoretical frameworks all of which were created either in the North America or Europe. The following macro-level theories are discussed and assessed: Marxism, Elitism and Pluralism. At the meso-level Policy Community (Marsh and Rhodes 1992), Multiple Streams Framework (Kingdon, 1995) and Advocacy Coalition Framework (Sabatier and Jenkin-Smith, 1999) were investigated and their utility in the Korean context was evaluated. Two case studies, elite sport and sport for all, were chosen and qualitative research methods were used in order to gather empirical data. A series of forty three semistructured interviews were undertaken. The first round of interview was conducted between 22nd June 2007 and 11th July 2007 followed by more extensive second round of interviews from 29th November 2007 to 15th June 2008 in Korea. The interviewees included academics, journalists, elite athletes, senior officers in the government and sub-national government, senior officers in national government organisations such as KSC, NACOSA, SOSFO, senior officials in KISS, NGBs, the business sector, the military sector and voluntary organisations such as YMCA. Interview data was supported by extensive analysis of documents including government reports, annual Sport White Papers, newspapers and magazine articles. One of the central findings is that decision-making in relation to high performance (elite) sport policy is dominated by members of the political, business and military elite. High performance sport decision-making is tightly controlled by the government which has been consistently the core actor in Korea’s elite sport policy process with there being little evidence of civil society involvement. As regard Sport For All, different levels of government and also non-government organisations were involved in promoting Sport For All. However of particular note is the lack of contact and cooperation between the government and other nongovernment organisations, for example, YMCA in terms of sharing experiences of promoting sport. Despite the involvement of different levels of government and of non-government organisations policy direction and momentum was largely set by the elite level of central government. The analysis reveals that elitism is the most appropriate framework to apply in Korean sport policy at the macro-level. As for the meso-level, none of the three frameworks were considered to be particularly useful although Policy Community appeared to be appropriate in the early stage of the research.