cfp: Surveillance at Mega Sports Events


We invite scholars to submit papers for the following one-day conference:
Security and Surveillance at Mega Sport Events: From Beijing 2008 to London 2012
April 25th 2008, organised by
– Institute of Hazard and Risk Research, Durham University
– School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University
– Centre for the Study of Cities and Regions, Department of Geography, Durham University

Conference Website

Within the current climate of ‘permanent emergency’ in the post 9/11 context of the ‘war on terror’, security issues heavily weight on the successful staging of mega sport events. With two of the most globally coveted sport happenings forthcoming in 2008 – the Beijing Olympic Games and the European Football Championship in Austria and Switzerland – there is indeed a substantial need for critical enquiry into the functioning of security politics and into the wider socio-political implications of security and surveillance issues, linked with the organisation of mega sport events.
Both these sports events provide a programmatic foretaste of the unprecedented security apparatus, which will be surrounding the 2012 London Olympic Games. Although still more than four years away, repeated policy debates around the exploding security costs provide a strong flavour of the massive demonstration of strength to be expected in the UK at that moment. There is thus good reason to carefully consider what type of interests, mechanisms, practices and relationships are lying behind the security operations and strategies which assume to protect the population from dangers.

The conference engages with security & surveillance issues at mega sport events, as key moments, and as key locations, in the production and circulation of security & surveillance related practices and expertise on the local, regional and global scale. Conceptually, the conference builds upon the understanding of mega events as both the product and the producer of a broader set of developments in security politics, reaching from processes of militarization of public safety to the increasing exemplification of the use of science-fiction security technologies, pointing out future trends in ‘intelligent’ risk-management.

It is from such a standpoint that the international conference seeks to assess the current state of research and expertise in security & surveillance issues surrounding mega sport events. Importantly, the conference aims to act as a bridge between scholarship and public policy. It aims to be open to anyone with an interest in security & surveillance issues at mega sport events and in current developments of security politics more generally. With an interest in a large variety of disciplinary approaches, the conference wants to encourage debate around a wide range of (social, political, ethical, economic, urban etc.) issues, linked with the securitisation of mega sport events.

We are also currently looking into possible channels for publication via a journal special
issue or a book project.
Papers should address one or more of the following topics, related to the problematics of mega sport events and security & surveillance issues:
– Anti-Terror legacies and human-rights issues
-  Risk Perceptions and popular fears
– Theorisation of surveillance and security
– Policy debates
– International comparisons
-  Architecture and urban infrastructure
– Socio-cultural implications of the securitisation of mega sport events
– Olympics (Athens, Beijing, London, etc.)
– Other mega sport events such as the FIFA Football World Cup

Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and accompanied by a 50-80 words brief biography of the author(s). They should be sent by e-mail to Francisco Klauser no later than 15th January 2008.

For further information, please contact:

Dr Francisco Klauser
Institute of Hazard and Risk Research
Durham University

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