(Im-)Mobile policies: why sustainability went wrong in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi

Martin Müller

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50 Citations (Scopus)
229 Downloads (Pure)


This paper proposes a tripartite framework of transportation, transformation and translation to conceptualise the circulation, mutation and impacts of mobile policies as translocal, socio-material networks. Drawing on material from semi-structured interviews, participant observation and documents it considers the value of this framework by examining the mobility of the sustainability agenda of the Winter Olympic Games 2014 in Sochi, Russia. The paper shows how sustainability policies were packaged and mobilised to flow to Russia (transportation), how ineffective governance arrangements, a lack of institutional controls and time pressure altered them (transformation) and how the results fell far short of initial bid commitments (translation). As such, it sheds light onto the multiple immobilities and mutations that come with the attempts to mobilise policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-209
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Urban and Regional Studies
Issue number2
Early online date7 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


  • mega-event, Sochi 2014, sustainability


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