Event Seizure: The World Cup 2018 and Russia’s Illusive Quest for Modernisation

Martin Müller

University of Zurich

June 1, 2014

At USD 21.5 billion, the Football World Cup 2018 is on course to become the most expensive ever. But intentions to leverage the event for the modernisation of Russia have turned into the opposite: rather than building a ‘new Russia’, as proponents claim, the mega-event magnifies the problems of the old Russia. Developing the concept of event seizure, this paper shows how the priorities of the event have displaced those of modernisation. It traces the excesses of stadia construction, how rent seeking has driven up event costs and how the preparation for the event legitimises exceptional legislation that infringes citizen rights.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 25

Keywords: Russia, World Cup, mega-events, planning, mega-projects

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Date posted: December 17, 2013 ; Last revised: July 11, 2014

Suggested Citation

Müller, Martin, Event Seizure: The World Cup 2018 and Russia’s Illusive Quest for Modernisation (June 1, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2368219 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2368219

Contact Information

Martin Müller (Contact Author)
University of Zurich ( email )
Winterthurerstr. 190
Department of Geography
Zürich, 8057

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