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Dr Aaron Beacom

Senior Lecturer

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation

01752 636700 Ext:5631

Aaron Beacom


  • PhD: Politics, University of Exeter.
  • MA: Pan-European Politics (Dist.) University of Exeter.
  • PG Diploma: Leisure and Recreation Practice (Dist.) Dunfermline College, Edinburgh.


Undergraduate and Postgraduate teaching: Sport policy and funding; Disability and inclusion; Physical activity and public health

Research Degree supervision PhD Director of Studies (one student) and second supervisor (two students)



My primary research interest concerns how physical activity and sport is located within the wider public policy process. Doctoral research and subsequent publications explored ways in which sports organisations interface with foreign policy and associated diplomatic activity. Within this I had a particular interest in the development of multi-stakeholder diplomacy; with actors such as the IPC, engaging in the diplomatic process as they advocate for wider social change. More recently research has focused on the UK public policy environment and in particular, how advocacy groups and policy entrepreneurs have engaged with health and wellbeing priorities that increasingly dominate the physical activity policy frame. As part of this, I am embarking on an investigation of allotmenteering as an element of local and national policy development. My research has influenced teaching in a number of ways, including use of field work to inform and enrich student understanding of contending policy theories.



  • Ziakas V. and Beacom A (May 2019b) Editors ‘Creating and Managing a Sustainable Sporting Future’, Managing Sport and Leisure’ Special Issue.
  • Beacom A. and Brittain I. (2019a) ‘The International Paralympic Movement and Public Diplomacy’, in: Maguire J. The Business and Culture of Sports. MacMillan.
  • Beacom, A. & Rofe, S. (2018b) ‘Conclusion – Post-match Recovery and Analysis’, in: Rofe, S. (ed) Sport and Diplomacy: Games within games (Studies in Diplomacy series) Manchester University Press.
  • Brittain I. & Beacom A. (eds) (2018a) ‘Palgrave Handbook of Paralympic Studies’ London: Palgrave. (includes Beacom A. one authored and three co-authored chapters).
  • Beacom A. (2017b) Game on? The City and the Public Diplomacy of the Olympic Bid’. Public Diplomacy.  University of Southern California. Association of Public Diplomacy Scholars (APDS).
  • Dowling M., Legg D., Brown P., & Beacom A. (2017a)Living with Imperfect Comparisons: Exploring the Challenges and Limitations of Conducting Cross-Comparative Sport Policy Research through Paralympic Sport’.  Sport Management Review. 
  • Brittain & Beacom A. (2016d) ‘Leveraging Paralympic Legacy’ Journal of Sport and Social Issues. 40: 6. pp. 499-521. 
  • Levermore R. & Beacom A. (2014) - ‘International Relations and Sport' in: Maguire J. (ed) Handbook of the Social Sciences of Sport. Champaign IL: Human Kinetics 
  • Beacom A., Brittain I. (2016c) ‘Public Diplomacy and the IPC: reconciling the roles of disability advocate and sports regulator’, Diplomacy and Statecraft. 
  • Beacom A., French L. And Kendall S. (2016b) Impairment re-interpreted?: Continuity and Change in Media representations of disability through the Paralympic Games’, International Journal of Sports Communication. 2016, 9, 42-62 http://dx.doi.Org/10.1123/I JSC.2015-0077
  • Beacom A. (2016a) ‘Sport and International Relations: a case for cross-disciplinary investigation’, in: Grix, J. (ed) Sport Politics, Vol. 2. Sage publications .  isbn: 9781473914513 
  • Beacom A. and Golder G. (2015) ‘Developing Disability Sport: The case for a critical pedagogy’,  Journal of Sport for Development. 2015, 3:5. 
  • Beacom A. (2013) ‘Mediation Through Impairment: Diplomatic Discourse and the Paralympic Movement’.  In Brittain I. Disability Sport: A vehicle for Social Change? Champaign Il: Common Ground Publications 
  • Beacom A. (2012d) International Diplomacy and the Olympic Movement: The New Mediators’. Basingstoke: Palgrave 
  • Levermore R. & Beacom A. (eds) (2012c) Sport and International Development. Basingstoke: Palgrave 
  • Levermore R. & Beacom A. (2012b) ‘Re-assessing sport-for-development: Moving beyond mapping the territory’. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics 4, No.1 pp.125 - 137
  • Beacom A. (2012a) ‘Sport in The City’: Sub-state diplomacy and the Olympic Bid’ in: Harris S., Adams A., Bell B., Mackintosh C. Sport for Sports Sake: Theoretical and practical insights into sports development. LSA Publication No.117. Eastbourne, Leisure Studies Association. 
  • Beacom A. & Read L. (2011) ‘Right to Play and the Challenge of Sustaining Development through Sport’ in: Houlihan B. & Green M (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Sports Development. London: Routledge. 
  • Levermore R. & Beacom A. (eds) (2009) Sport and International Development. Basingstoke: Palgrave  
  • Beacom A. & Levermore R. (2008) ‘International Policy and Sport-in-Development’ in: Girginov V. (ed) Management of Sport Development. Oxford: Butterworth-Hienemann 
  • Beacom A. (2007) ‘A Question of Motives: Reciprocity, Sport and Development Assistance’. European Sports Management Quarterly. Vol 7: No.1 pp.81-108. 
  • Beacom A. (2005) ‘New Boundaries for International Assistance: Sport Aid and International Development’ in Conference book of Abstracts, European Association of Sport Management conference (Newcastle). 
  • Beacom A. (2004)‘A Changing Discourse? British Diplomacy and The Olympic Movement’, in; Levermore R. & Budd A. (eds.) Sport in International Relations – an emerging relationship, Frank Cass. 
  • Beacom A. (2000)‘Sport and International Relations: A Case for Cross-disciplinary Investigation’, The Sports Historian, No.20 (2) pp.1 - 23. 
  • Beacom A. (1998)‘Indigenous Sport and the Search for Belonging’, The Sports Historian,No.18 (2) pp. 50 – 77.

 Recent Conference papers:

  • September 2018, Sport And Disability International Conference, Business and Society Research Centre, Coventry University.Public Policy and Disability Sport: A UK regional case study of County Sports Partnership engagement’.
  • September 2017 EASM Conference Ziakas V and Beacom A. ‘Re-imagining Physical Activity: County Sport Partnership Responses to UK Public Policy Shifts’
  • June 2016 – University of Birmingham: Sport Policy Centre. International Conference – State strategies for leveraging sports mega-events (invited as discussant, Planning for Legacy Panel – Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup)
  • July 2015 – University of London, Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, Colloquium - Sport and Diplomacy: Message, Mode and metaphor. Invited speaker. Presented paper on public diplomacy and the Paralympic Movement
  • January 2015 - Durham University, PSA sport policy conference. Delivered paper on diplomacy and the Paralympic Movement.
  • September 2014 - Coventry University, Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies. Delivered paper on role of HEIs in development of disability sport.
  • September 2013 – University of Brighton, Sport and Leisure Cultures (Sport Leisure and Social Justice). A. Beacom and Gill Golder ‘Sport and Disability – A critical pedagogy’.
  • August 2012 – Coventry University, Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies. Delivered paper entitled. ‘Mediation Through Impairment: Diplomatic Discourse and the Paralympic Movement’.  
  • March 2012 – Liverpool University, launch of the Development Studies Research Network. Invited speaker: ‘Development Diplomacy and the Olympic Movement’.
  • September 2010 – European Sport Development Network. Delivered paper entitled ‘Sub-State Diplomacy and the Olympic Bid’.
  • March 2010 –University of Hull, Sport Development and Movement Education for Young People conference. Invited as Keynote speaker: ‘Disability and Sport Development: challenges and opportunities’
  • February 2007 – International Studies Association Congress (Chicago). Delivered paper entitled: ‘Disability Sport and the Politics of Development’.
  • November 2006 – Development Studies Association. Delivered paper entitled: ‘Its our Business: Private Sports Organisations and Sport Development Assistance’
  • September 2006 – British Society of Sports Historians. Delivered paper entitled: ‘Whose Burden, Whose Benefit? International Sport Development Assistance in Colonial and Post-colonial contexts’.

Expert Membership of professional bodies

  • Political Studies Association - Sport and Politics Specialist Group
  • British Society of Sports Historians
  • UK Sport Development Network

Other Interests

Research, consultancy and professional interests:

  • 18 April 2018 - Symposium participant Where Does Sport Fit in Global Diplomacy? School of Oriental and African Studies, UCL. Funded by UCL to attend. Symposium formed basis of Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (SOAS) led bid to ESRC for funding to support public diplomacy and sport research project.
  • 3–13 May 2016 - Social research project, International Invictus Games (hosted in Orlando). Project funded by Marie Curie / International Invictus Games Foundation (Coventry University lead partner in project)
  • March 2016 – Member of IOC review panel, reviewed submission to The Olympic Studies Centre Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme (2016-17 round)
  • March 2014 – Member of IOC review panel, reviewed submission to The Olympic Studies Centre Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme (2014-15 round)
  • 2013 - 2014 - part of collaborative bid, led by Active Devon, for the Sport England Inclusive Sport Fund. Bid Successful (£206,000 - from which funding will be made available to support students travelling to support setting up of ‘Ability Clubs’)
  • 2012 - 2013, part of delivery team (in partnership with the St. Lukes College, University of Exeter) for bid to Youth Sport Trust to evaluate the effectiveness of the national Playground to Podium initiative (UK talent development framework for young athletes with disabilities, based in schools and administered by YST). Bid successful (£30,000 - of which Marjon received £4000)  
  • Current member of Inclusive Sport Plymouth
  • April 2010 – September 2012: Vice-Chair: West Devon Pre-Olympic Training Camp working group (London 2012).
  • 2010 - 2014 -Committee member: Plymouth and District Special Olympics Branch
  • Radio interview 23 June 2010 -  ‘Diplomatic implications of the forthcoming UEFA 2012  Championships’ (co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland) Polish English language radio.
  • 2007 - 2012 - founding editor of the in-house Journal of Physical Activity and Human Development
  • 2003 – 2007 - External Examiner / Chief External Examiner (University College, Chichester).

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