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The urban unbound: London's politics and the 2012 Olympic Games

Allen, John and Cochrane, Allan (2014). The urban unbound: London's politics and the 2012 Olympic Games. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38(5) pp. 1609–1624.

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Global events such as London’s 2012 Olympic Games throw up questions about the ways in which embedded political arrangements take their shape from relationships that stretch across and beyond urban boundaries. In this paper, the urban politics that we wish to capture is not one that is merely located in the city, but rather one that constantly has to take into account the mediated demands folded in, as it were, into the urban arena. In the first part of the paper, the corporate politics of an Olympic-related urban regeneration are outlined and then considered, first, as a staged setting for interaction, a kind of placeless political engagement, and, then as a more embedded spatial politics that takes into account the leverage of networked groups acting within and beyond the city. Following that, we explore the politics of regeneration when campaign groups and alternative coalitions of interest raise their own political demands by drawing on references outside of their immediate urban area and attempt to steer political dialogue in ways that extend the reach of urban politics. The urban politics at stake in this context, we argue, appears to work more through topology than a series of mapped connections; through actors registering their presence in ways that often dissolve the tension between inside and outside, rather than define it in terms of separate political spaces.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2014 Urban Research Publications Limited
ISSN: 1468-2427
Keywords: urban politics; London Olympics; connectivity; topology; reach; spatial politics
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Research Group: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Item ID: 40878
Depositing User: Allan Cochrane
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2014 08:25
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2019 10:01
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