This chapter aims to explore the role that provincial-level teams and national-provincial relations play in China’s elite sport development. Three sports/disciplines were selected for in-depth case study with case-to-case comparison: artistic gymnastics, swimming and cycling. The ‘perfect implementation’ framework is deployed to direct the policy analysis. Data were collected from two kinds of sources: (a) a range of official publications, information from sports governing bodies’ websites and influential domestic media; and (b) 11 semi-structured interviews conducted with key Chinese stakeholders. This study reveals that from one sport/discipline to another, there are differences in the extent to which national-provincial tensions exist and in the form those tensions take within China’s seemingly centralised and standardised realm of elite sport. Despite how these conflicts vary in nature between different sports, broad policy implementation theory – particularly the ‘perfect implementation’ propositions – demonstrates heuristic utility for articulating and understanding their causes. Furthermore, what all three case studies have in common are the vital roles played by adequate central resources and by the dominant central power and authority in improving national-provincial cooperation within China’s top-down elite sport system. Addressing the issue of national-provincial tension is important for ensuring China’s sustainable competitiveness on the international elite sport stage.
|Title of host publication||Sport Policy in China|
|Editors||Jinming Zheng, Shushu Chen, Tien-Chin Tan, Barrie Houlihan|
|Place of Publication||Oxon; New York|
|Number of pages||20|
|ISBN (Print)||9781138051669, 9780367520151|
|Publication status||Published - 30 Aug 2018|
|Name||Routledge Research in Sport Politics and Policy|