Although the event management field has grown considerably over the last decade, critical, social-scientific studies of the international events industry are rare. This book intends to help fill this void. It focuses on power, social and political relations, conflicts and controversies in the context of international events, popular festivals and famous spectacles. It draws on recent primary research and offers a diverse range of new and intriguing case studies, for example the Arirang Festival in North Korea, the Gay Games, the Gymnaestrada, horse-racing events, the London 2012 Olympics, regional and rural festivals, the World Baseball Classic, World Fairs/Expos and U2 concerts.
The main aim of this volume is to bring the critical, social-scientific analysis of events, festivals and spectacles more into the core of the teaching of events management degree programmes. The book draws extensively upon the disciplines of politics, sociology, cultural studies and history.
In the process, it addresses key themes such as:
• political economy
• politics of popular culture
• the global and the local
• regionalism and globalization
• nations and nationalism
• international relations and foreign policy.
This groundbreaking collection of essays is unique and innovative. It will be an essential source for students, researchers and academics with a keen interest in critical, social-scientific analyses of events.
Table of Contents
1 The critical, social-scientific study of international events: Power, politics and conflicts
Historical and developmental case studies
2 Regional events and festivals in Europe: Revitalizing traditions and modernizing identities
3 The historical roots of the Gymnaestrada: National gymnastics festivals in nineteenth-century Europe
4 World Expos and global power relations
5 A short, selective history of the Gay Games: Conflicts, clashes and controversies
Contemporary case studies and ethnographies
6 Global events and local conflicts: Who owns the streets of London?
ADAM JONES AND JANET WOOLLEY
7 "A Day at the Races": Critical reflections of an insider
8 Arts, acrobatics and athleticism in North Korea: Power, politics and propaganda
9 The World Baseball Classic: The production and politics of a new global sports spectacle
THOMAS F. CARTER
10 Politics as spectacle: U2’s 360° tour (2009-2011)
Udo Merkel is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Sport and Service Management at the University of Brighton. He is part of the Events Management team and has a keen interest in the social-scientific study of the international events industry. In addition to researching and teaching sociological and political aspects of international sports events, he has published widely in the areas of comparative European studies and football cultures. He is currently preparing a book on the role of international events and festivals as a foreign policy and diplomatic tool.