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Centre for Sports, Health and Civil Society

Head of research: Bjarne Ibsen 

The aim of the research centre is to carry out research into humanistic and social science issues in ‘movement’ with specific emphasis on the interconnections between ‘physical movement’ and ‘social movement’ (civil society).

The research centre is financed by grants from research councils and foundations, and from organizations and council that request surveys and assessments from the centre. The centre comprises some ten research staff, half of whom are studying for PhDs.

Ongoing research projects

The research concentrates on three main areas:

1. Research into civil society, limited here to associations and voluntary organizations. This area of the centre’s research comprises four studies:

  • Surveys of the characteristics and development of associations in Denmark compared with other countries. The research builds primarily on a mapping of associations and voluntary organizations and a questionnaire survey of a representative sample of the registered associations and organizations carried out for the first time in 2004 as part of the international research project ‘The Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project’, and repeated in 2010.
  • Surveys of voluntary work in different types of associations and voluntary organizations, including patient organizations and sports associations that ask for such surveys.
  • Surveys of the change in association-based sports with a focus on how communalization, commercialization, individualization, professionalization and new lifestyles affect such associations.
  • Surveys of partnerships supporting physical activity between municipal institutions and voluntary associations and organizations.

2. Research into physical play and self-organized movement. Play is of major significance in child development, but there is increasing perception that play – particularly physical play – is on the wane. This research concentrates on analyzing what play is, what value it has and how play can be promoted. The research project covers three secondary studies into:

  • the significance of play for learning,
  • the significance of the physical space (e.g. the playground) for play, and
  • the significance of the applications of modern technology in play and play equipment for play.

3. Research into and evaluation of ‘projects’ that look at promoting participation in sport in order to promote a desired development in society. This research comprises two areas:

  • A survey of the significance of a major research and development programme within sport in Denmark, carried out between 2000 - 2002, on the development of sport.
  • Evaluation of projects and new initiatives implemented by local authorities and organizations. These are typically projects involving associations and local groups.


Sports Facilities of the Future

Their operation and (public) management

Project website

Social Inclusion and Volunteering in Sports Clubs in Europe

EU Erasmus+ Programme

Project Website

Last Updated 18.10.2021