Mega-Events and Mega-Ambitions: South Korea’s Rise and the Strategic Use of the Big Four Events

  • Yu-Min Joo
  • Yooil Bae
  • Eva Kassens-Noor

Part of the Mega Event Planning book series (MEGAEP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Yu-Min Joo, Yooil Bae, Eva Kassens-Noor
    Pages 23-46
  3. Yu-Min Joo, Yooil Bae, Eva Kassens-Noor
    Pages 47-67
  4. Yu-Min Joo, Yooil Bae, Eva Kassens-Noor
    Pages 69-92
  5. Yu-Min Joo, Yooil Bae, Eva Kassens-Noor
    Pages 93-116
  6. Yu-Min Joo, Yooil Bae, Eva Kassens-Noor
    Pages 117-128
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 129-132

About this book


This book provides a holistic analysis of South Korea’s strategic use of mega-events in its modern development. It examines the Summer Olympics (1988), the World Expo (1993), the FIFA World Cup (2002), and the Winter Olympics (2018) over the past 30 years of the country’s rapid growth, and across varying stages of economic and political development. It explains how mega-events helped to secure South Korea’s position on the international stage, boost nationalism, propel economic growth in export-oriented national companies, and build cities that accommodate – as well as represent – South Korea’s progress. It thereby highlights the broader implications for today’s global phenomenon of increasing reliance on mega-events as a catalyst for development, while the criticism that mega-events do more harm than good proliferates. The book is ideal for academics, policymakers, and those with an interest in mega-events and their role in the development of non-western countries.


Political Economy developmental state urban change Summer Olympics democratization Seoul infrastructure eviction World Expo science and technology industrial restructuring FIFA World Cup economic crisis Korea-Japan relationship nationalism stadium Winter Olympics environment decentralization Chaebol

Authors and affiliations

  • Yu-Min Joo
    • 1
  • Yooil Bae
    • 2
  • Eva Kassens-Noor
    • 3
  1. 1.Lee Kuan Yew School of Public PolicyNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.School of Social SciencesSingapore Management UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.School of Planning, Design and Construction & Global Urban Studies ProgramMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

Bibliographic information