Globalization and Chinese sport policy: The case of elite football in the People's Republic of China

Tien Chin Tan*, Alan Bairner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this article is to analyse China's engagement in global sport through an examination of the case of elite football. Although many studies exhibit a quite proper concern with the extent to which the deep structure of culture is affected by sports globalization, they generally fail to give significant consideration to the role of the state, because of excessive emphasis on other aspects of globalization such as commercialization, commodification and cultural homogenization. We attempt, therefore, to refocus on the role of the state and to investigate its relationship with global sport by adopting the theoretical framework of Held et al. (1999) as the main analytical tool for this study. By taking strategic approaches in the economic and cultural/ideological fields, the Chinese government has demonstrated, to some degree, its capacity to find effective ways to manage its relationship with global football. This was demonstrated particularly by the setting up of new governmental commercial agencies, updating sport and football regulations, and strengthening Chinese communist ideological education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-600
Number of pages20
JournalChina Quarterly
Issue number203
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Sept

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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