Richard Parrish
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Towards a theory of EU sports law and policy

This chapter investigates the theoretical basis for European Union (EU) sports law and policy. The arguments forwarded by intergovernmentalists and neofunctionalists are reviewed. Hoffmann's obstinate nation state restricted itself to uncontroversial economic integration. Milward argues that the EU became an external support system for Europe's nations. Moravcsik's accounts of European integration focus on the preferences and power of the member states. Neofunctionalism remains clearly distinct from the intergovernmentalist camp in that neofunctionalism de-emphasises state capabilities in the regional integration process. Sabatier's Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) focus on competing advocacy coalitions within policy subsystems effectively captures the real nature of EU governance. He identifies a number of factors affecting the development of policy within a subsystem. The focus on the role of political institutions in shaping policy is the concern of new institutionalism. The interplay between actors and institutions creates policy-specific governance regimes within policy subsystems.

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