After the Second World War, France’s sports policy brought about a strengthening of partnership between the state and a group of proxy sports federations. Government assistance focused particularly on personnel as the means to providing support. Since 1985, such personnel have been categorized under the civil service “A” category as “technical sports consultants.” Currently, these officials are in an unusual and exceptional position among French civil servants, inasmuch as they are “placed with” (placés auprès des) the federations, whereas the usual system only recognizes positions of “secondment” (détachement) and “made available to” (mise à disposition). By blending the sociology of public policy and sociology of professions, this article intends to trace the origin and underlying issues of this corps of personnel. The data used—derived from documentary sources and interviews—show how the work of the corps is monitored and depict the conflicts that arise between these professional representatives, their Ministry, and the sports federations.
By Samuel Julhe, Marina Honta