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Research

Below you'll find a list of our research topics, research lines and our research projects (ongoing and finished)

Research topics

The research group is currently involved in the following international research networks and research projects:

  • MEASURE (since 2010): Meeting for European Sport Participation and Sport Culture Research. This is an academic community of sport sociologists under the umbrella of the European Association for Sociology of Sport (EASS). The MEASURE network contributes to the academic understanding of differences in sport participation and sport culture across Europe. It was initiated in Leuven by the Policy in Sports & Physical Activity Research Group, in cooperation with scholars from the Dutch Mulier Institute, in 2010.
  • SORN (since 2013): Sport Organisation Research Network. This is an academic community of sport sociologists under the umbrella of the European Association for Sociology of Sport (eass). The SORN network aims to create opportunities for scientific discussion and exchange in order to understand similarities and differences of sport organizations across Europe.
  • The research group also participates in an international network on sport and development, including universities from the north (Sport University Cologne, University of Utrecht, University of Toronto and University of Leuven) and universities from the south (coordinated by the University of the Western Cape, South Africa). The objective is to establish research and education on the worldwide emerging topic of sport and development.
  • SIVSCE (2015-2017): Social Inclusion and Volunteering in Sports Clubs in Europe (project supported by Eramus+, European Commission) 
  • Run for Health (2019-2020): Promoting health enhancing physical activity and social welfare through outdoor running events (project supported by Erasmus+, European Commission)

Research lines

The research group strives to understand the relation between human movement and society both from a socio-cultural approach and from a socio-economic approach. An additional aim is to optimize the functioning of sports policies, sports organizations and educational programs in order to promote and improve access to sport and physical activity to a broad range of society (Theme 1, see p. 3).

The general vision within these two approaches is:

  • To continue ongoing research projects on sports participation and to continue and start new and innovative research projects on sports participation and the organization of sport from a cultural, economic, management, marketing, policy, political and social perspective. Research is conducted at a macro, meso and micro level.
  • To publish results in peer-reviewed scientific journals with high rankings within the domain of sports economics, sports history, sports management, sports marketing, sports policy, sports politics and sports sociology.
  • To publish results in peer-reviewed scientific journals with high rankings within the domain of sports economics, sports history, sports management, sports marketing, sports policy, sports politics and sports sociology.
  • To cooperate with international academics in order to enhance the international comparison of research on sports participation and the organization of sport as a basis for (i) the international classification of sports policies in different countries and (ii) the optimization of sports policy and the organization of sport in specific countries.
  • To apply evidence-based research in sports economics, sports history, sports management, sports marketing, sports policy and sport sociology courses in the curriculum of the faculty and (international) academic or applied guest lectures and conferences.
  • To maintain dialogues/cooperation with public and private sports organizations to increase awareness of threats and opportunities and to facilitate the application and translation of relevant evidence-based research to practice (interaction between translational and fundamental research to deliver societal value). 

R​​​​​​esearch projects

A list of finished and ongoing research of the staff within our research group (as a researcher or (co-)promotor)