Welcome to our work to promote the work taking place in the academic community. These pages encapsulate what we are about - creating good evidence based sport and physical activity policy and sharing it.

These pages will showcase the work of various sport academics in a format that is accessible to sport policy makers. With events and roundtables we will bring people together around topical themes - exploring the evidence and latest insight. We are in a unique position with experience in sport and physical activity policy over the last 20+ years. Working much closer together in future we can improve the impact of academics and improve the evidence and knowledge base for policy makers.

Comparing Sporting Nations: Theory and Method

Posted: Fri, 12 Mar 2021 13:52

Comparing Sporting Nations: Theory and Method

Why are some countries more successful at international sporting competition than others? Why does the United States win more gold medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games compared to Italy? Which countries have the highest levels of participation in sport? Why are there higher levels of participation in sport and physical activity in Sweden compared to the United Kingdom? These questions have one thing in common – they are comparative.

Dr Mathew Dowling (Anglia Ruskin University) and Spencer Harris' (University of Colorado) new book provides a comprehensive overview of the theory and method of how to make inter-country comparisons in sport. In particular, the authors draw upon examples and case-studies from the elite sport policy and management domain to explicate the philosophical, methodological, and practical challenges of comparative analysis in sport.

The ultimate intention of the book is to help generate further consideration of, and sensitivity towards, the theory and method of comparative analysis as it applies to the context of sport and help students navigate the challenging and the seemingly impossible task of how to compare the similarities and differences between countries.

The book is essential reading for any advanced undergraduate or postgraduate students studying sports or sport-related degrees and is a useful companion for researchers seeking to make comparisons between sporting nations.

Tags: Books, Comparative, Dr Mathew Dowling, Dr Spencer Harris, Methodology


We are happy to showcase the work of the academic community to sports policy makers. We want to create space for highlighting work in an accessible format for a wider range of stakeholders across the sport and physical activity landscape.

If you are interested in joining us contact the team. We have a Directory of those sharing their work with us. Once again if you would like to have your profile here please contact us.