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Title: Mega sports event policy in Marseille 1991-2003 the football World Cup and the Americas Cup: a case study of urban governance
Authors: Cometti, Aurelie
Keywords: Growth coalition
Policy network
Urban regime
Urban governance
Football World Cup 1998
America's Cup
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: © Aurelie Cometti
Abstract: The aim of this thesis is to provide a theoretically informed account of the decision-making process in mega sports events policy in Marseille. This is intended to allow an evaluation of the major theoretical frameworks developed in the Anglo-Saxon literature on urban governance and their applicability to the French local government context, and more specifically to the context of sports policy in Marseille. Following an analysis of the development of the local political culture of Marseille, the thesis undertakes a review of theoretical frameworks developed in the urban policy literature identifying three major approaches / concepts which have dominated Anglo-Saxon literature, namely the growth coalition (Logan and Molotch 1987), policy network (Rhodes 1981; 1988), and urban regime (Stone 1989) approaches. These theoretical frameworks have been little used in French urban policy literature (Le Gales 1995; 2003) and feature rarely, if at all, in French sports policy literature. In reviewing this literature the thesis identifies a set of indicators, which may be used in empirical contexts to differentiate growth coalitions from policy networks and urban regimes. A major question for the research is thus to what extent Anglo-Saxon theoretical frameworks / concepts can be usefully employed to understand French decision-making and that of Marseille in particular. Subscribing to critical realism, the thesis aims to give an account of the mega sport event phenomena in Marseille, and of the actors' understanding and interpretation (in effect their social construction) of the phenomena. The data collected were documents for the period 1991 - 2003 from official sources (minutes and proceedings of local government and event-related bodies, reports, political speeches, and local government publications), local press coverage, and interviewees conducted with the major decision-makers. An ethnographic content analysis was made, partly employing a deductive approach based on the set of common indicators developed from the review of urban policy, and partly inductively from themes, which emerged in the analysis (Altheide 1996). The thesis concludes that while there is some evidence of the development of policy networks the specificity of the French context, and that of Marseille, with its heavily state-led approach to policy, means that the use of urban regime, and still less of growth coalition approaches, is not warranted by the evidence.
Description: Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/7989
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)

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