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(Im-)Mobile Policies: Why Sustainability Went Wrong in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi

European Urban and Regional Studies 22 (2): 191–209. doi:10.1177/0969776414523801 (open access CC-BY)

19 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2014 Last revised: 28 Mar 2015

Martin Müller

University of Zurich

Date Written: January 15, 2014

Abstract

This paper proposes a tripartite framework of transportation, transformation and translation to conceptualise the circulation, mutation and impacts of mobile policies as translocal, socio-material networks. Drawing on material from semi-structured interviews, participant observation and documents it considers the value of this framework by examining the mobility of the sustainability agenda of the Winter Olympic Games 2014 in Sochi, Russia. The paper shows how sustainability policies were packaged and mobilised to flow to Russia (transportation), how ineffective governance arrangements, a lack of institutional controls and time pressure altered them (transformation) and how the results fell far short of initial bid commitments (translation). As such, it sheds light onto the multiple immobilities and mutations that come with the attempts to mobilise policies.

Keywords: sustainability, environment, mega-events, Olympic Games, mobilities, knowledge, Russia

Suggested Citation

Müller, Martin, (Im-)Mobile Policies: Why Sustainability Went Wrong in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi (January 15, 2014). European Urban and Regional Studies 22 (2): 191–209. doi:10.1177/0969776414523801 (open access CC-BY) . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2379769

Martin Müller (Contact Author)

University of Zurich ( email )

Winterthurerstr. 190
Department of Geography
Zürich, 8057
Switzerland

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