School of the Built Environment


    The urban politics of sports mega-events: Parallels between developments in the Global South and North

    Completed his PhD in 2017.


    • Dr Sue Brownill
    • Professor Ramin Keivani

    How is power exerted by the state when confronted with dissent? How do dissenters try to confront state power? What are the differences found between the so-called global South and global North when considering those issues? By exploring international cases of urban development projects associated with sports mega-events, this research presents some reflections to help answer these questions.

    As such, the specific objectives of this study are 1) to understand what kind of strategies and tactics have been used by governments to minimise the action of groups unhappy with the impacts of urban developments associated with the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup, 2) to understand the repertoire of strategies and tactics used by the affected groups to change the course of actions and extend their influence over the spatial planning and implementation of those projects and 3) to contrast the results found for different host cities situated in Global South and North countries.

    Empirical investigation is based on four different cases: the construction of the Olympic Parks for Rio 2016 and London 2012; and the regeneration projects related to the refurbishment of the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. These choices enable two axes of approach that are particularly relevant for the proposed objectives: a South-North comparison (Rio de Janeiro -London) and a South-South comparison (Rio de Janeiro-Johannesburg). Moreover, they also allow the minimization of time differences between the cases, with all their planning and implementation processes fitting in the early 21st century.

    Before I came to Brookes I was developing research for the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro on the impacts of sports mega-events in Brazil.