Mega-events and risk colonization: risk management and the Olympics

Jennings, Will (2012) Mega-events and risk colonization: risk management and the Olympics. London, GB, London School of Economics and Political Science, 27pp. (Discussion Paper, 71).


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This paper uses the idea of risk colonisation (Rothstein et al. 2006) to analyse how societal and institutional risks simultaneously make mega-events such as the Olympics a problematic site for risk management while contributing to the spread of the logic and formal managerial practice of risk management. It outlines how mega-events are linked to broader societal and institutional hazards and threats but at the same time induce their own unique set of organisational pathologies and biases. In this context, it is argued that the combination of societal and institutional risks create pressure for safety and security which in turn give rise to the growing influence of risk as an object of planning, operations and communication both in organisation of the Games and governance of the Olympic movement. This is consistent with the colonising influence of risk over time: both in the creation of formal institutions (such as risk management teams and divisions) and the proliferation of the language of ‘risk’ as an object of regulation and control.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
ISSNs: 2049-2718 (electronic)
Related URLs:
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Divisions : Faculty of Social and Human Sciences > Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations
ePrint ID: 343644
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
March 2012Published
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2012 13:15
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:35
Going for Gold: The Olympics, Risk and Risk Management
Funded by: ESRC National Centre for Research Methods (RES-063-27-0205)
Led by: William Jennings
1 October 2008 to 30 September 2010

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