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Mega Sporting Events – ‘A double edged sword’ / JOSEPH REES

Swansea University Author: JOSEPH, REES

Abstract

Mega sporting events are beginning to be hosted more frequently in ‘developing’ countries. They are often portrayed by leading politicians from these countries to be a major turning point in development. However, they can negatively impact some vulnerable members of society. This thesis analyses how...

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Published: Swansea 2021
Institution: Swansea University
Degree level: Master of Research
Degree name: MA by Research
Supervisor: Krijn Peters
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa57423
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Abstract: Mega sporting events are beginning to be hosted more frequently in ‘developing’ countries. They are often portrayed by leading politicians from these countries to be a major turning point in development. However, they can negatively impact some vulnerable members of society. This thesis analyses how mega sporting events impact the development of vulnerable communities in host cities and evaluates whether they foster a sustainable path to development.There are three main stages to the thesis. Firstly, an assessment of a less economically developed host city – Rio de Janeiro is conducted. Then examples of more economically developed host cities – Cardiff and London are assessed. Finally, a comparison is then made of the impact of mega sporting events on the case studies showing similarities and differences. The thesis adopts the approach of interpretative phenomenological analysis. It analyses the phenomena of mega sporting events and how vulnerable communities experience the processes of pacification, exclusion and gentrification that were used by local authorities in cities when mega sporting events were hosted.The thesis argues that although mega sporting events are often believed to provide some positive economic boost, the economic impacts of the mega sporting events particularly in developing countries are often damaging. The social impact on development by mega sporting events is also felt far worse by vulnerable communities who are often excluded totally by the events and see their rights and capabilities impacted. The thesis concludes that mega sporting events at present do not foster sustainable paths to development for developing countries. In order for them to be less damaging to vulnerable communities in host cities, principles from the capabilities and rights based approach need to be respected by local authorities, whilst organisations such as FIFA and the IOC should be required to stop prioritising their own financial gain at the expense of these communities.
Item Description: A selection of third party content is is partially redacted from this thesis due to copyright restrictions.
Keywords: Mega sporting events, gentrification, sustainable development, vulnerable communities, human rights, capabilities, Cardiff, London, Rio de Janeiro
College: College of Arts and Humanities