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Open Access Regulatory Informality Across Olympic Event Zones

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence.

Olympic event zones are characterized as being intensely formally regulated during live staging periods, producing exclusionary environments blamed for sidelining 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 theorization of these concepts critiques existing explanations of how regulation is enacted in mega-sporting events, providing new insights into the way organizers balance regulatory demands and potentially opening up new emancipatory policies and more equitable outcomes for host communities.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Management, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK 2: Department of Management, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK 3: School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK

Publication date: April 27, 2022

This article was made available online on September 22, 2021 as a Fast Track article with title: "Regulatory Informality Across Olympic Event Zones ".

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  • Event Management, an International Journal, intends to meet the research and analytic needs of a rapidly growing profession focused on events. This field has developed in size and impact globally to become a major business with numerous dedicated facilities, and a large-scale generator of tourism. The field encompasses meetings, conventions, festivals, expositions, sport and other special events. Event management is also of considerable importance to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations in a pursuit of a variety of goals, including fund-raising, the fostering of causes, and community development.
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