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Publicness of Sport Policy


Unit Name:
Sport Policy
Unit representative:
Professor Koichi Kiku, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences

Unit members:
7 (3 faculty members, 4 postdoctoral fellows, none from other organizations)

Key words:
Sport, policy, publicness, international comparative studies


    In modern societies, sports are expected to be multifunctional and significant in various respects, and sport policy has become an important issue developed globally and locally all around the world. When discussing physical well-being and development in social life, it is crucial to clarify the publicness of sport, while examining the challenges of sport policy which are rapidly developing and becoming complex. Under these circumstances, this research unit aims to take the initiative in the field of sport policy ahead of other countries, and create a base for innovative studies in this field.

Two Directions of Sport Policies

    The majority of previous studies on sport policy have just examined physical education policy as administrative measures so far. Without specifying conceptual frameworks for a policy system (Figure 1), they just simply discussed purposes, contents, and methods, regarding the political character of the promotion of physical education as one part of public policies. When focusing on sport policy in terms of publicness, it is clear that it has been elaborated as part of national policies — just like those to provide special support for people in high-level performance sport, such as Olympic athletes—, and that there are expectations for such policies to determine Japan’s political direction and to serve as a solution to its challenges. On the other hand, though, sports originally developed as a method of leisure to enjoy in daily life. As leisure sports were incorporated into living environments and they have been popularized, together with a growing interest in health. In consideration of these two directions, this research unit conducts basic studies on sport policy, including international comparative studies (Figure 2).

(E)菊先生図1 (E)菊先生図2

Possibilities to Create the Publicness through an Open Bottom-up Approach

    In research on the concept of the “Publicness”, an isomorphic relation with the publicness in modern society is considered from social structure supporting this society. From this concept, the possibilities of “the publicness from sport” based on the free nature of play which pursues pleasure and a restrictive concept are examined. Discussions on the publicness within a basic framework, focusing on the characteristics of sport performance, have revealed differences in the recognition of the publicness between advanced and developing countries. In European countries, intrinsic relationships or values are regarded as a starting point of the publicness, with expectations for the possibilities of instrumental values as a tool deriving from it. Such a concept of the publicness may be a widely open and bottom-up social model, as it is based on the free nature and flexibility of sport (Figure 3).


Social contributions and achievements
● Topics of Sport Policies in Japan (Seibundo Publishing Co., Ltd.) 2011
●Introduction to Sport Literacy (Taishukan Publishing Co., Ltd.) 2012, 26-29
●100-Year History of the Japan Sports Association and Japan Olympic Committee Part 1 – Discussing the Age of Environments and Union from the Viewpoint of Sports – (edited and issued by the Japan Sports Association and Japan Paralympic Committee) 552-553, 556-557

(Interviewed on September 12, 2013)

Research Administration/Management Office at U Tsukuba TEL 029-853-4434