Regulating the emerging: A policy discourse analysis of mixed martial arts legislation


Policy discourse analysis has emerged as a tool for gaining a systematic understanding of the policy process and enhancing consequent outcomes, including for sport policies. In a federal system of government, there are a multitude of settings within a country to examine the formulation of public policy. As a result, there are opportunities for government bodies to adapt policies created by other government bodies in the same country. Narrative and interpretive methods for policy analysis are used to illustrate the policy process that regulated mixed martial arts in the United States. By analysing three policy contexts, it is demonstrated how the policy discourse evolved over time with the interaction of institutions, legitimations, stakeholders and the sociopolitical climate. By examining the lobbying efforts of the dominant organization seeking to govern the sport, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, it is shown how a sport organization can proactively work with governments rather than resist government involvement in its business. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Publication Title

International Journal of Sport Policy