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date: 23 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Is the familiar left–right bipolar model of the ideological spectrum still relevant to political interpretations of national sports policies in the post-Communist age? This chapter describes what some may regard as a “post-ideological,” namely, post–Cold War, political world in which governments around the world offer political rationales for the instrumental use of sport. This chapter argues that there is a political doctrine governing the professed or actual use of sport by national governments that is so widespread and fundamental that it persists independently of traditional left–right political ideologies. These policies and their goals are quite uniform across the globe. There is a modern sports-functional orthodoxy that government officials everywhere feel they must adhere to that promises elite success plus public benefits. This functionalist discourse of sport is a state-sanctioned ideology that promotes the value of sport as a resource for implementing various forms of social engineering.

Keywords: sport, state, ideology, post-ideological, political doctrine, social engineering

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