The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Governing the Games: high politics, risk and mega-events

Jennings, Will (2013) Governing the Games: high politics, risk and mega-events Political Studies Review, 11, (1), pp. 2-14. (doi:10.1111/1478-9302.12002).

Record type: Article


Prima facie, spectacular public events and large-scale capital projects are an ideal vehicle for ‘high politics’ and the predilection of policy-making elites for grand, iconic and schematic visions that offer high-profile policy successes and historic legacies. Yet the prospective political rewards from such mega-events and projects must be offset against high levels of risk and complexity. Further, such schemes tend to be at odds with the prevailing doctrines and practices of the modern state: in particular its deference to market-based mechanisms and its liking for instruments of calculation and control. Indeed, mega-projects and events often prove uneconomic despite the predictions of forecasters. This review essay considers how the bidding and planning process for the London 2012 Olympic Games demonstrates this tension between high politics, risk and the preferred methods of governing the modern state.

PDF PSR_Postprint.pdf - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only
Download (285kB)

More information

Published date: 10 January 2013
Organisations: Politics & International Relations


Local EPrints ID: 343614
PURE UUID: ad9d8816-a7ab-4083-a2f5-2a4bf8c376e7

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Oct 2012 11:13
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:21

Export record



Author: Will Jennings

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.