An aspect of sport which is often highlighted is its capacity to alleviate processes of social exclusion that are experienced in different areas of life. Despite its acclaimed inclusionary nature, sport remains a site of multiple and diverse exclusionary processes (Spaaij, Magee, & Jeanes, 2014). To better understand sport’s wider inclusionary outcomes, Ekholm (2013) argued that we should problematize and critically expose the underlying assumptions, distinctions, ideologies, and research positions that constitute the conceptions surrounding sport as a means for social inclusion. If such problematizing and exposing is not empirically done, sport-based social inclusion policies and programs are likely to become inadequate in the face of the exclusionary forces which such schemes seek to combat (Collins & Haudenhuyse, 2015). It is precisely the aim of this thematic issue to scrutinize such issues in relation to sport and its acclaimed potential to facilitate social inclusion and combat processes of social exclusion. The issue brings together a unique collection of international articles, written by both rising and leading scholars in the field of social sport sciences. The articles cover a wide variety of themes, theoretical perspectives, and research methods in relation to social in-/exclusion and sport.

Author Reinhard Haudenhuyse e holds Master’s degrees in Physical Education and in Conflict and Development,   both from Ghent University. In 2012 he received his PhD in Physical Education and Movement Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He currently works as a part-time professor and post-doctoral researcher at the Sport and Society Research Unit and the Interdisciplinary Research Group Voicing At-Risk Youth at Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Sport & Society Group, Department Sport & Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 1050 Brussels, Belgium; E-Mail: [email protected]