Securing and Sustaining the Olympic City : Reconfiguring London for 2012 and Beyond book cover
1st Edition

Securing and Sustaining the Olympic City
Reconfiguring London for 2012 and Beyond

ISBN 9780754679455
Published April 28, 2011 by Routledge
306 Pages

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Book Description

Often seen as the host nation's largest ever logistical undertaking, accommodating the Olympics and its attendant security infrastructure brings seismic changes to both the physical and social geography of its destination. Since 1976, the defence of the spectacle has become the central feature of its planning, one that has assumed even greater prominence following the bombing of the 1996 Atlanta Games and, most importantly, 9/11. Indeed, the quintupled cost of securing the first post-9/11 summer Games in Athens demonstrates the considerable scale and complexity currently implicated in these operations. Such costs are not only fiscal. The Games stimulate a tidal wave of redevelopment ushering in new gentrified urban settings and an associated investment that may or may not soak through to the incumbent community. Given the unusual step of developing London's Olympic Park in the heart of an existing urban milieu and the stated commitments to 'community development' and 'legacy', these constitute particularly acute issues for the 2012 Games. In addition to sealing the Olympic Park from perceived threats, 2012 security operations have also harnessed the administrative criminological staples of community safety and crime reduction to generate an ordered space in the surrounding areas. Of central importance here are the issues of citizenship, engagement and access in urban spaces redeveloped upon the themes of security and commerce. Through analyzing the social and community impact of the 2012 Games and its security operation on East London, this book concludes by considering the key debates as to whether utopian visions of legacy can be sustained given the demands of providing a global securitized event of the magnitude of the modern Olympics.

Table of Contents

Securing and Sustaining the Olympic City

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Pete Fussey, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Department of Sociology, University of Essex, UK, Jon Coaffee, University of Birmingham UK, Gary Armstrong, Brunel University, UK and Dick Hobbs, University of Essex, UK


'Mega-events such as the Olympics have become vehicles for different forms of transformation. To date, however, such events have largely escaped mainstream academic scrutiny. With the Olympics arriving at the heart of London this situation is apt to change, and Securing and Sustaining the Olympic City is a crucial resource for helping us to understand how these Games will shape the vital issues of urban securitization and sustainability for decades to come in one of the great cities of the world.' Kevin Haggerty, University of Alberta, Canada 'This is a very interesting interdisciplinary study of the security construction for the London 2012 Olympic Games, which enriches the nascent field of Olympic Security. Its documented analysis of the serious "glocal" security processes and their social impacts are very important and useful not only for the London Olympic City's specific case, but for all future Olympics and sporting mega-events.' Minas Samatas, University of Crete, Greece '... a significant contribution to contemporary debates on the militarization and securitization of public spaces... represents a brilliantly written account of the inseparability between humans and technology. Technological surveillance is presented not only as punitive, but also integrative, aspiring to incorporate organizations, agencies and actors. Surveillance is presented as socially constructed and strongly influenced by human biases. ... the book offers a well-documented account of previous Olympic related security practices, as well as situating London 2012 into a broader context of militarization of socio-economic marginalized neighborhoods. By contrasting past and the future Olympic security in a matrix of the global standardization of security practices the book thus represents an important contribution to literature on the subject of urban securitization.' Urban Geography Research Group 'Overall, it is an informative, stimulating and significant contribution to the inter