The political process of constructing a sustainable London Olympics sports development legacy


This study attempts to develop a research agenda for understanding the process of constructing a sustainable Olympic sports development legacy. The research uses a social constructivist perspective to examine the link between the 2012 London Olympic Games and sustainable sports development. The first part of the paper provides justification for the study of sport policy processes using a constructivist lens. This is followed by a section which critically unpacks sustainable sports development drawing on Mosse's (1998) ideas of process-oriented research and Searle's conceptualisation of the construction of social reality. Searle's (1995) concepts of the assignment of function, collective intentionality, collective rules, and human capacity to cope with the environment are considered in relation to the events and discourses emerging from the legacy vision(s) associated with the 2012 London Olympic Games. The paper concludes by proposing a framework for engaging in process-oriented research and highlights key elements, research questions, and methodological issues. The proposed constructivist approach can be used to inform policy, practice, and research on sustainable Olympic sports development legacy.


Vassil Girginov
Laura Hills
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