Skip to main content
Palgrave Macmillan

Surveilling and Securing the Olympics

From Tokyo 1964 to London 2012 and Beyond

  • Book
  • © 2016


  • Examines the Olympics as a window onto changing meanings and procedures associated with security, governance and globalization

  • Uses the Olympic Games as a case study to unpick broader societal issues

  • Includes an impressive line up of contributors

  • Appeals to those in sport studies, International Relations and Security Studies

Part of the book series: Transnational Crime, Crime Control and Security (TCCCS)

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this book

eBook USD 34.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book USD 44.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access

Licence this eBook for your library

Institutional subscriptions

About this book

This book analyses the relationship between the Olympic Games, with its ethos of openness and collectivism, and the security concerns and surveillance technologies that are becoming increasingly prevalent in the organisation of public events.


Similar content being viewed by others


Table of contents (19 chapters)


“Bajc’s edited collection, Surveilling and Securing the Olympics, provides a series of critical insights into the complex relationships between sports organisations, the government and military arms of the state, business interests, the media, spectators and the general public. … this text offers much to an under-researched and under-theorised field of research that is rapidly gaining the attention of academics and policymakers alike.” (Neil King, International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, Vol. 8 (4), 2016)

With an uncanny capacity for a transversal analysis of a familiar subject - the competition to get the Olympics - Vida Bajc has produced a volume that keeps surprising us. This is a great read, comic and tragic items included.' - Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, Columbia University, USA, and author of Expulsions


'Surveilling and Securing the Olympics is a creative and ambitious work that leads to surprising and somewhat alarming insights into today's world system. By selecting key moments in the development of technologies and practices utilized to secure the world's most complex mega-event, the Olympic Games, this book essentially tells the story of the last half century of world history from a thoroughly novel perspective… The Olympics demand new levels of cooperation between different layers of government, from the local levels of the host city government all the way up to international security coalitions… The most thought-provoking aspect of the argument is that at the core of this development is not the rationality that is claimed in public statements, but a kind of ritual that plays on the human desire to control uncertainty and produce predictability in social behavior. This book makes an important contribution to our understanding of globalization by shedding light on a previously dark corner of the world system.' - Susan Brownell, Professor of Anthropology, University of Missouri-St. Louis, USA


'Starting from what might seem a minor issue - security - [this] book brilliantly uses it as a short-cut to get to the critical heart of the bureaucratic 'behemoth' called the Olympics. The Foucauldian strength of the book is to show how crucial surveillance and monitoring are to a hierarchy-building institution usually presented as ruled by a disembodied 'Olympic spirit', but in fact characterized by the management of three sorts of visibility: the visibility of spectacle, the visibility of surveillance, the visibility of monitoring.' - Daniel Dayan, Marcel Mauss Institute, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, France

Editors and Affiliations

  • Flagler College, USA

    Vida Bajc

About the editor

Vida Bajc is Visiting Associate Professor of Sociology at Flagler College, USA, and co-editor (with Willem de Lint) of Security and Everyday Life.

Bibliographic Information

Publish with us