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Sport and civil society in the Nordic region

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posted on 20.02.2018, 08:54 by Richard GiulianottiRichard Giulianotti, Hannu Itkonen, Arto Nevala, Anna-Katriina Salmikangas
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This paper examines the key elements within the relationships of sport and civil society in Scandinavia. The analysis combines themes and developments in Nordic sport and civil society, such as the role of the welfare state and the impacts of neoliberalism, with consideration of specific national experiences, especially in Finland. The discussion has four main parts. First, we set out the principal features of the ‘Nordic model’ of society, and how it shapes sport and civil society relations. Second, we advance a Finnish case study, examining the historical connections of three sectors to the national sport culture. Third, we consider how, in recent decades, the Nordic model has encountered and sought to respond to neoliberalism and globalization processes. Finally, we explore how Nordic societies have sought to influence globalization processes and ‘global civil society’ through sport, specifically through taking lead roles within the transnational ‘sport for development and peace’ sector.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Sport in Society


1 - 15


GIULIANOTTI, R. al., 2017. Sport and civil society in the Nordic region. Sport in Society, 22 (4), pp.540-554.


© Taylor and Francis (Routledge)


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Sport in Society on 1 November 2017, available online: