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TBGI Working Paper 24

Local Practices, Transnational Solutions? The Role of Host Cities in the Cyclic Process of Environmental Regulation of Sports Mega-Events

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Rebecca Schmidt

August 2018

Abstract

The chapter uses a case study of the environmental protection and sustainability framework for Olympic Games to examine the interactive role of local government actors as innovators in the creation of transnational regulation. The host city level has been at the forefront of innovating this framework. Developments initiated at this level were later taken up by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and became mandatory for future host cities, in a dynamic the chapter terms ‘cyclical regulation’. The chapter makes two main claims about this process: First, in certain conditions, host cities and their local organizers can ratchet up social and environmental standards for sports mega-events by going beyond the existing regulatory framework in their hosting bids and thereby initiating an upward revision of the framework; and second, the local level provides a platform from which various other actors can be co- opted into the preparation of sports mega-events and thereby influence transnational regulation.

Keywords

Sports regulation, environmental regulation, mega events, Olympic Games, cyclical regulation