Dr Borja García joined the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences in January 2009 as a Lecturer in Sport Management and Policy. He holds a PhD in Politics, International Relations and European Studies from Loughborough University (United Kingdom), where he completed his thesis titled ‘The European Union and the Governance of Football: A game of levels and agendas’.

Prior to joining Loughborough, Dr. García graduated with an MA (‘very good’) in European Political and Administrative Studies at the College of Europe (Bruges, Belgium) and he also completed a MA (‘with merit’) in European Politics at the University of Leeds (United Kingdom). In both cases he undertook research on the European Union’s sports policy for his dissertations.

A graduate in media studies (Complutense University, Madrid, Spain), Dr. García worked full time in different national media (including radio and newspapers) for five years before joining the European Parliament’s Madrid office during the 2002 Spanish presidency of the EU. As a result of his academic work, Dr. García has advised members of the European Parliament, UEFA and the English FA in matters relating to the European Union’s sports policy. Borja García is a founding member of the Association for the Study of Sport and the European Union.

Dr Borja García was awarded in 2010 a ‘European Citizen of Honour’ award in the ‘academic’ category by the European think tank, Sport & Citizenship, and the European Commission. This award recognises the person who best demonstrated through his academic work that sport is a factor reinforcing European citizenship.

Dr Borja García is member of the European Commission’s expert group on sport policy.

Dr Borja García’s research interests embrace two main fields. The first is the origin and development of the European Union’s sports policy, which he has researched using a theoretical approach based on agenda-setting and multilevel governance models. Dr. García is interested in exploring the agenda-setting dynamics of EU policy-making through the case of sports policy. In this respect he has already published articles in peer-reviewed journals. He is currently involved in leading journals such as the Journal of European Public Policy. His current research in this area focuses on the impact of the Lisbon Treaty for the EU´s policy priorities in sport. He is also involved in researching the decision-making dynamics within the Council of the European Union and, in particular, the nature of the new ‘trio presidency’ arrangements.

Dr García has recently completed, with the publication of an edited book by Manchester University Press, a collective project investigating the transformation of professional football in ten different European countries as result of the policies of the EU.

The second research interest would be broadly defined as the governance of sport. This is defined as both systemic governance structures and principles of good governance. In this area, Dr García is interested in finding out about the nature of the relations between governmental and non-governmental actors in sports governance, especially at the supranational level, with a focus on the case of football and the roles of UEFA and EU institutions.

He is also interested in finding concrete ways to measure governance or democratic standards in sports governing bodies in order to be able to carry ‘democratic audits’ of these bodies that could inform their future management and strategic plans.

Selected recent research projects and sources of funding

  • Football Research in an Enlarged Europe (FREE Project). An international collaborative research project of eight universities in nine European Countries. Funded by the European Commission’s FP7. £2.1 million.
  • ‘EU Sports policy and the Lisbon Treaty’ (with Richard Parrish and Samuli Miettinen). Funded by the European Parliament. £ 35,000.
  • ‘A catalogue of national anti-doping legislation’ (with Barrie Houlihan). Funded by WADA and UNESCO. £11000.
  • Editorial board Member: Sport & EU Review
  • Advisor to members of the European Parliament, UEFA and the Norwegian Football Association.
  • Founding member and executive director of the Association for the Study of Sport and the European Union (Sport & EU, www.sportandeu.com)

Selected Invited Conference Keynote and Speaker Presentations

  • García, B. (2011) And now what? An analysis of priorities for a new EU sports policy under the Lisbon Treaty. EUSA 12th Biennial International Conference. Boston (Massachusetts, USA) 5-8 March 2011.
  • Invited seminar: ‘Sports governance and policy in Europe’, Forum on Innovative Sports Diplomacy, Korean Olympic Committee, Seoul 2-3 November 2010.
  • Invited seminar: ‘The Lisbon Treaty and EU sports Policy’, Birkbeck Business of Sport Seminar Series, Birkbeck College, London 27 October 2010.
  • García, B. (2010) The Transformation of Spanish football: Parrochialism or avant garde?UACES 40th annual Conference ‘Exchanging Ideas on Europe’, Bruges (Belgium), 5-8 September 2010. (Co-authored with Alberto Palomar and Carmen Perez)
  • ‘The Governance of European Sport’, as part of the symposium ‘Representing Sport: Europe, Tradition and Modernity’, National University of Ireland, Galway (Ireland), 2-3 June 2009.
  • ‘Inside UEFA: The Governance of European Football’, guest lecture invited by the Centre of Sports Law Research, Edge Hill University, Liverpool 12 March 2009.
  • ‘UEFA and the European Union, a game of two halves’, in the Business of Sport Seminar Series, Birbeck Sport Business Centre, London 4 February 2009.

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