Sustainable development, shock and awe? London 2012 and Civil Society

Graeme Hayes, John Horne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a disconnection between the top-down, elite, nature of sports mega-events and the ostensible redistributive and participatory sustainable development agendas staked out by BINGOs (Business-based International Non-Governmental Organizations) such as the contemporary International Olympic Committee (IOC). Focusing specifically on the London 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, we argue that, for all the environmental technology advances offered by sports mega-events, their dominant model remains one of a hollowed-out form of sustainable development. Despite significant technical and methodological innovations in environmental stewardship, the development model of the London Olympics remains predicated on the satisfaction of transnational investment flows. We discuss what this means for claims about the staging of a ‘green’ Olympic Games.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-764
Number of pages16
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • civil society
  • mega-events
  • Olympic Games
  • sustainable development


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