Mechanisms of policy failure : Boston's 2024 Olympic bid / Eva Kassens-Noor, John Lauermann

Kassens, Eva | Lauermann, John

Planning for mega-events such as the Olympics is at a turning point. There has been a power shift in the relationship between cities and the International Olympic Committee towards the former. This shift is based on the emergence of anti-bid opposition movements; the increasing complexity of bidding; demands for locally relevant legacies; and a changing political economic relationship between citizens, city governments and sports federations. This paper draws on a long-term study of Boston’s failed bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, based on an ethnography within the bidding corporation and interviews with pro- and anti-bid stakeholders. The authors lay out the reasons why the Boston bid failed, and conclude that bid failure involves factors that work against elitist powers and towards democratic beneficiaries.

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