Regulatory informality across Olympic event zones

Lewis Walsh, Simon Down, Michael Duignan

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Olympic event zones are characterised as being intensely formally regulated during live staging periods, producing exclusionary environments blamed for side-lining host community interests. Yet, our findings contradict what scholars perceive to be inflexible formal regulations, and, the regulator’s ability to take informal action. By interviewing and drawing on the experience of 17 regulators during London 2012 we identify how regulators simultaneously oscillate between modes of regulatory formality and informality, straddling what is referred to as the ‘formality-informality span’. Our application and theorisation of these concepts critiques existing explanations of how regulation is enacted in mega-sporting events, providing new insights into the way organisers balance regulatory demands and potentially opening up new emancipatory policies and more equitable outcomes for host communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-603
Number of pages17
JournalEvent Management
Issue number3
Early online date22 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • London 2012
  • Olympic event zones
  • Regulatory in/formality
  • formality-informality span
  • host community
  • mega-sporting events


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