Date of Award

Spring 4-27-2018

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Stephanie Anderson

Abstract

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Federation Internacionale de Football Association (FIFA) represent the legacy of premier athletics, economic development, and globalization. Cities around the world fight to host these premier events and showcase the beauty and robustness of their community. The construction of venues for these games adversely affects local populations. This paper attempts to address the arguments for showcasing such events, despite the local population displacement they cause. Using an examination of current literature on the topic, I attempt to provide a picture of the local impact of mega sporting events. I will look at how three forms of legitimacy provided by states as justification for hosting are often not based in reality. I will argue that economic legitimacy influences a state to host games based on perceived benefits that do not reach the majority of the population, especially the poor. The second form of legitimacy, inherent legitimacy, focuses on the way that different types of spending are legitimized or not legitimized by the international community, and how spending on sports has an inherent legitimacy that for example, military spending does not. Finally, I will argue that legitimacy through terminology, such as marketing the perceived benefits to the community of the event, has adverse effects on local populations that are often ignored.

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