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Surveillance, security and sporting mega events: Toward a research agenda on the organisation of security networks



Surveillance and security at sports mega events have been the subject of considerable scholarly attention. Events such as the Olympic Games and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cups have become occasions of almost unparalleled economic, political and social significance. In the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic Games, scholars have examined issues such as the 'security legacies' of sports mega events, the infrastructures and technologies used in an attempt to secure these events, and the planning mentalities underpinning the staggering 'security spectacle' of these globally televised events. This paper deals with the subject of how surveillance and security practices at sports mega events are organised. It uses the emerging paradigm of 'security networks' to call attention to some important issues involving the entire 'security assemblage' that accompanies these mega events. The paper presents five levels of analysis-structural, cultural, policy, technological and relational-to examine these practices and documents several key areas for further research on sports mega events.
Whelan, C. 2014. Surveillance, Security and Sports Mega Events: Toward a Research Agenda on the
Organisation of Security Networks. Surveillance & Society 11(4): 392-404. | ISSN: 1477-7487
© The author(s), 2014 | Licensed to the Surveillance Studies Network under a Creative Commons
Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives license.
Chad Whelan
Deakin University, Australia.
Surveillance and security at sports mega events have been the subject of considerable scholarly attention. Events such as the
Olympic Games and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cups have become occasions of almost
unparalleled economic, political and social significance. In the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic Games, scholars have
examined issues such as the ‘security legacies’ of sports mega events, the infrastructures and technologies used in an attempt to
secure these events, and the planning mentalities underpinning the staggering ‘security spectacle’ of these globally televised
events. This paper deals with the subject of how surveillance and security practices at sports mega events are organised. It uses the
emerging paradigm of ‘security networks’ to call attention to some important issues involving the entire ‘security assemblage’
that accompanies these mega events. The paper presents five levels of analysisstructural, cultural, policy, technological and
relationalto examine these practices and documents several key areas for further research on sports mega events.
Sports mega events such as the Olympic Games, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)
World Cups and Commonwealth Games have become occasions of unparalleled economic, political and
social significance. However, ensuring security at these events has been a major ongoing concern since the
1972 Munich Games and appears to have taken on a new meaning since the events of 11 September 2001
(hereafter 9/11). This was clearly demonstrated recently with the London 2012 Olympic Games, which
easily became the largest security operation to ever take place inside the United Kingdom. London 2012
was plagued with security concerns from the day the host city was announced by the International
Olympic Committee, with the right to host the Games announced less than 24 hours prior to four suicide
bombers attacking the Underground transport system, killing 52 people and seriously injuring hundreds
more. As with the 1972 Munich Gameswhere the Olympic Village was infiltrated by a Palestinian
group known as Black September that took 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team hostage who were
later killedthe London bombings raised fears of sports mega events being considered an ideal ‘soft
target’ to be exploited by potential terrorists. More recent events in which two bombs exploded close to
the finish line of the Boston Marathon on 15 April 2013, killing three people and injuring over 250, have
again highlighted that large scale sporting events are extremely difficult to secure, particularly where
crowds congregate over wide and relatively open spaces. The Boston bombings have also shown the size
and scale of the audience watching, which may further appeal to potential terrorists.
Over the decade since 9/11, security has grown exponentially at sports mega events. Giulianotti and
Klauser (2010) highlight this trend in relation to the increasing economic costs of security measures and
Surveillance, Security and Sports Mega Events:
Toward a Research Agenda on the Organisation
of Security Networks
Whelan: Surveillance, Security and Sports Mega Events
Surveillance & Society 11(4)
numbers of personnel. For example, the pre-9/11 security costs for the Olympic Games have increased
from US$179.6 million at Sydney 2000 to US$1.5 billion for Athens 2004 and the exceptional case of
US$6.5 billion for Beijing 2008 (see Yu, Klauser and Chan 2009). Although exact expenditures are still
unknown, it is estimated that the security costs for London 2012 were at least US$950 million, despite the
host city’s already significant investments in security and surveillance infrastructure post the 7 July 2005
bombings and economic problems following the Global Financial Crisis (see Fussey and Coaffee 2012a).
In terms of personnel, Sydney 2000 deployed approximately 5,000 police, 3,500 defence and up to 7,000
contract security staff (Lenskyj 2002) while London 2012 was initially asked to provide over 15,000
police, 13,500 defence force personnel and close to 15,000 contract security staff (Home Office 2011a,
2011b). Further, in the days leading up to the London 2012 Games, there was a significant addition of
3,500 defence personnel as concerns arose that G4S, the leading contract security provider, would not be
able to supply the agreed number of private security staff (Hopkins 2012). This increased the total number
of defence personnel to approximately 17,000, almost twice the number of troops then deployed in
Afghanistan (Hopkins and Booth 2012). Indeed, Peter Ryan (2003: 24), former Commissioner of the New
South Wales Police and now leading security advisor to the IOC, describes the task of securing sports
mega events as ‘impossible, complicated, difficult, challenging, complex and technologically advanced’,
noting that ‘[w]ars have been planned and executed in less time and with less people’ (Ryan 2003: 23).
The lessons of 9/11 are particularly relevant to sports mega events, and clearly demonstrate the extent of
the task of organising surveillance and security. For example, the 9/11 Commission Report (2004)
concludes that 9/11 was not only an ‘intelligence failure’ but more accurately a failure to ‘connect the
dots’. Western governments have aimed to learn this lesson by improving their structures to promote
greater cooperation, coordination and collaboration between departments and agencies involved in
national security. The United States created the Department of Homeland Security, which amalgamated a
series of pre-existing agencies, in an attempt to enhance inter-agency coordination. In countries like
Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, this has for the most part been pursued through formal and
informal ‘networks’ designed to strengthen the pre-existing ‘ties’ between security agencies (Whelan
2012). Coordinating ‘security networks’ is challenging enough in routine operations (Dupont 2004; Gill
2006; Whelan 2012), but becomes even more challenging in the context of sports mega events. In the
words of Ryan (2003: 26): ‘as an exercise in testing cooperation, there is no better context than the
Olympic security operation’, emphasising that ‘should an incident occur which could have been prevented
by better communication and cooperation, the public will hold someone accountable’. In reflecting on
these challenges for London 2012, Weston (2011: 202) briefly concludes that ‘[t]here is no doubt that the
challenges of multi-agency coordination will be multiplied many times over by the magnitude of the
This paper contributes to a recent and growing body of literature concerning the intersecting issues of
surveillance and security at sports mega events (e.g., Bennett and Haggerty 2011; Boyle and Haggerty
2009, 2012; Coaffee and Fussey 2010; Coaffee et al. 2011; Fussey and Coaffee 2012a; Giulianotti and
Klausner 2010; Richards, Fussey and Silke 2011) by bringing attention to the important issue of ‘security
networks’. The paper proceeds in three sections. The first provides an overview of the concepts of
‘surveillance’ and ‘security’, building on recent work aimed at clarifying the relationship between these
terms. While recognising that security and surveillance are related yet distinct concepts, surveillance is
largely viewed in this paper as one of the key methods for trying to promote security at sports mega
events. The second section seeks to unpack the relationship between security and surveillance by
highlighting gaps in the current literature relating to the organisation of both practices of governance. The
third section seeks to advance a research agenda focusing on the significance of security networks in
securing sports mega events and outlines a framework for how these processes can be analysed. The paper
concludes by suggesting that sports mega events and mass sporting events generally require ongoing
research to examine the complex relationship between surveillance and security, which can be
significantly advanced through taking a network perspective.
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Security and Surveillance
Security and surveillance are related yet highly distinct concepts that are difficult to define with precision.
In attempting to clarify the relationship between these terms, Lyon and Murakami Wood (2012) focus on
distinguishing between ‘security’ and ‘surveillance’ by first briefly tracing the origins of Security Studies,
as a sub-discipline of International Relations, and Surveillance Studies, as essentially a multi-disciplinary
field of inquiry centred on the practices of surveillance. They illustrate how these fields overlap in theory
and in practice, but strongly argue that security and surveillance need to remain distinct concepts.
Security, they suggest, ‘speaks of a goal, an intended outcome, whereas surveillance speaks much more of
a practice, method, or means’ (Lyon and Murakami Wood 2012: 321). They go on to explain that ‘security
often requires surveillance but there are also other means by which security may be sought’ and that
‘[s]urveillance is often practiced in order to provide or procure security, but there are many additional
purposes for which it may be applied’ (Lyon and Murakami Wood 2012: 322).
While this is a positive start there is more to consider when defining the concept of ‘security’ and, in turn,
the relationship between security and surveillance. Security has traditionally been defined very narrowly
by Security Studies, whereby the ‘referent object’ (Buzan, Waever and Wilde 1998) of security was the
state and ‘existential threats’ were largely derived from other states. Despite the rise of other referent
objects and existential threats such as ‘computer security’, ‘economic security’, ‘environmental security’,
‘food security’ and ‘human security’, Security Studies largely remains preoccupied with the notion of
‘national security’, although conceptualisations of this term have considerably broadened since 9/11
(Zedner 2009). Security is, as Zedner (2009: 10) argues, ‘too big an idea to be constrained by the strictures
of any single discipline’. As such, one must look well beyond the field of Security Studies to truly
understand the concept of security. The impact of this is significant. As Valverde (2011: 5) argues, ‘we
think about security not as a thing, concept or condition but rather as an umbrella term under which one
can see a multiplicity of governance processes that are dynamic and internally contradictory’. While
accepting that there may not necessarily be anything grammatically wrong with using the term ‘security’
as a noun, Valverde (2011: 5) cautions that ‘it is dangerous to go on to the assumption that security
actually exists, even as a fuzzy concept’. Therefore, care should be exercised when thinking of security as
a ‘goal’ or ‘intended outcome’, even if this is implied by those invoking the term, because this risks
confusing an ‘objective’ condition of security with the hypothetical state of ‘absolute security’ (Zedner
2009). Absolute security has a number of underlying assumptions, such as that it is predicated on
knowledge of existential threats to one’s security, the static or unchanging nature of those threats and
complete protection from such threats. Attention should also be devoted to the equally important
conception of security as a ‘subjective condition’, which essentially holds that ‘security is all in the mind’
(Zedner 2009: 16). Ultimately, as Valverde (2011: 5) concludes, ‘all that we can know about security is
what people do in its name’. In sum, should security be articulated as something closer to a ‘goal’ or
‘intended outcome’, as Lyon and Murakami Wood (2012) suggest, the attainment of security can only be
assessed in terms of the extent to which these practices succeed in reducing or removing each known
threat to a particular referent object. Security, like surveillance, is therefore a ‘practice’ rather than an end
goal (see Zedner 2009). That is, regardless of how these practices of governance are performed, they are
done with full knowledge that an actual objective condition of ‘security’ is ‘probably unattainable and at
best impermanent’ (Zedner 2009: 19).
Surveillance can be defined in a similar way. For example, Lyon (2007: 14) defines surveillance as ‘the
focused, systematic and routine attention to personal details for purposes of influence, management,
protection or direction’. Lyon goes on to explain that surveillance is ‘focused’ on the personal details of
individuals, ‘systematic’ to the extent that it involves the organised monitoring of individuals, and
‘routine’ in that it occurs as part of everyday life. Although exceptions to these general conditions apply,
Lyon’s (2007: 15) main point is that ‘it is crucial to remember that surveillance is always hinged to some
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specific purposes’ of influencing or managing individuals and their behaviour. These purposes need not be
malign or benign; they can be both and many varieties in between. Surveillance, in sum, is a ‘practice’
with a special ‘purpose’, such as to control or monitor populations. This idea fits neatly with the view that
surveillance is fundamentally a ‘social-ordering process’ (Lyon, Haggerty and Ball 2012).
Both security and surveillance invoke very similar practices and are carried out for very similar purposes.
For example, it is difficult to imagine any practices of security that do not involve at least some attempts
to engage in the focused and systematic attention to the personal details of individuals for the purposes of
influencing, monitoring or controlling their movements. However, while surveillance initiatives often
extend beyond the purposes of security, such as in relation to protecting revenues of mega event
organisers and promoters (Bennett and Haggerty 2011), their primary purposes in the case of sports mega
events at least is intended to promote a condition of ‘security’. Indeed, this is largely the focus of most
recent sports mega event literature (see Giulianotti and Klauser 2011). In what follows, questions of
surveillance are largely viewed as subsets of the broader security questions that apply to sports mega
Security, Surveillance and Sports Mega Events
Security and surveillance practices at sports mega events have attracted considerable attention leading up
to the London 2012 Olympic Games. While some of this literature examines issues such as the
globalisation of sport and sports governance (see Giulianotti and Brownell 2012), a significant proportion
concentrates directly on the intersecting issues of security and surveillance (see Giulianotti and Klauser
2011). Much of the literature focuses on three overlapping issues: a) ‘security legacies’ of sports mega
events (e.g., Bennett and Haggerty 2011; Coaffee et al. 2011; Fussey, Coaffee, Armstrong and Hobbs
2011; Fussey and Coaffee 2012b); b) security risks and the infrastructures and technologies used in an
attempt to manage those risks (Fussey and Coaffee 2012a; Giulianotti and Klauser 2010, 2012; Richards
et al. 2011); and c) the overall ‘security spectacle’ that characterises sports mega events (e.g., Boyle 2012;
Boyle and Haggerty 2009, 2012; Coaffee et al. 2011). Each of these themes is now briefly considered in
The security legacies of sports mega events have attracted considerable recent attention. A strong object of
Surveillance Studies is how security and surveillance technologies, often initially implemented in an
attempt to ‘secure’ sports mega events, continue to function post the event in everyday life, and with the
familiar logic of ‘mission creep’ end up being used for other purposes than they were originally
developed. Video-surveillance systems are a prime example (Bennett and Haggerty 2011). Giulianotti and
Klauser (2010: 54) call attention to six security legacies of sports mega events: security technologies; new
security practices; governmental policies and new legislation; externally imposed social transformations;
generalised changes in social and trans-societal relationships; and urban redevelopment. For the most part,
security technologies such as surveillance systems and urban redevelopment have been the focus of most
critical attention (Coaffee et al. 2011), although analysts are increasingly examining the legacies of
governmental policies and legislation. For example, Toohey and Taylor (2012) highlight some of the
security legacies that followed the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, including enhanced capacities for
surveillance and legislative powers for police and security agencies to control and monitor behaviour at
localised sports events (see also Taylor and Toohey 2011). More generally, the ‘legacies’ of London 2012,
including new sports infrastructure and urban renewal, were put forward as major ongoing advantages of
hosting the Olympic Games (Fussey, Coaffee, Armstrong and Hobbs 2012), which may in turn transform
into lasting ‘security legacies’.
Security risks, infrastructures and technologies encompass the ways in which risks to the security of sports
mega events are identified and managed. Giulianotti and Klauser (2010) place these security risks in three
categories: a) terrorism; b) spectator and political violence; and c) poverty, social divisions and urban
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crime. While these risks vary according to the particular dynamics of the event and the host city, they are
all considered as part of mega event security planning to varying degrees (e.g., Boyle and Haggerty 2012).
Terrorism, for example, has been a key risk for every Olympic Games since the 1972 Munich Games
regardless of the threat environment experienced in the host city (Fussey 2011; Fussey and Coaffee 2012b;
Jennings 2011, 2012; Giulianotti and Klauser 2010; Manning 2006; Richards et al. 2011; Thompson
1996). A significant amount of resources is devoted to intelligence and surveillance activities targeting
potential security risks in the lead up to any sports mega event. This was made clear in the security
strategy for London 2012 (Home Office 2011a, 2011b).
In relation to how security risks are managed the overwhelming focus of recent literature is on the security
infrastructures and surveillance technologies used to promote security. For example, Coaffee, Fussey and
Moore (2011) trace the extent of the security operation for London 2012 and how it compares with some
prior Olympic Games (see also Coaffee and Fussey 2010; Fussey and Coaffee 2012a, 2012b; Fussey et al.
2011). Uniquely positioned in terms of both the design of urban space and advanced surveillance
technologies, Coaffee et al. (2011) describe how London implemented its version of the conventional
Olympic ‘total’ security model. In addition to proactive policing and intelligence efforts being directed
towards potential threats, key elements of the total security model included at least three key stages. The
first involved intense planning for ‘resilience’ should the goal of ‘prevention’ fail and security problems
such as a terrorist attack eventuate during the Games. The second involved reconfiguring public and
private space into security infrastructures through the development of ‘island’ security and sophisticated
‘defensible space’ techniques at key sites. The third concerned the deployment of advanced surveillance
and real-time monitoring of people and space, much of which involved expanding the existing network of
surveillance technologies in the host city. These measures were also accompanied by an intense ‘military
urbanism’ that played a crucial role in the overall ‘securitisation’ of the Olympic Games.
There is little doubt that many of these developments are about the ‘security spectacle’ rather than bearing
a correlation to actual security risks. For example, the show of military ‘strength’ during London 2012
involving an aircraft carrier docked on the Thames, several RAF fighters, fixed long-range surface-to-air
missiles deployed at several locations and portable missiles on the top of apartment buildings close to
Olympic sites, Unmanned Ariel Vehicles or ‘drones’, and the more traditional positioning of tactical
teams and sniperswould be considered far beyond any probable threat to the Olympics. Leaving aside
the question as to whether these sorts of measures actually function as a genuine ‘deterrent’ to potential
security risks, these initiatives are also as much about ‘subjective’ rather than ‘objective’ components of
security. While some analysts have carefully questioned the rationale for such extreme responses to
security, very few have actually addressed the ways in which decisions are made about how to secure and
what to secure from. For example, Boyle and Haggerty (2012) argue that security spectacles and the
planning for extreme events that underpins them are largely about providing the illusion of ‘absolute
security’ and an attempt to control uncertainty. Others have focused on Olympic security as a ‘speech act’
(MacDonald and Hunter 2013), questioning the ways in which security problems are framed and
communicated in line with the broader process of ‘securitisation’ (see Waever 1995; Loader 2002).
Equally plausible, as Boyle and Haggerty (2012) suggest, is that while this enormous display of security
may act as a possible deterrent and produce increased feelings of security for some, such extreme security
measures can actually exacerbate feelings of ‘insecurity’ in others (Zedner 2009), particularly amongst the
uninformed witnesses of the spectacle. For example, people can become anxious should they actually
think about the need for all this ‘security’. This may have the added effect of amplifying surveillance and
uncertainty rather than meaningfully enhancing overall levels of security (Boyle and Haggerty 2012).
Despite advancing our knowledge of security planning, infrastructures, surveillance technologies and their
ongoing legacies after sports mega events have concluded, important questions remain in relation to
precisely how all this ‘security’ can actually be coordinated. While virtually all analysts recognise that
‘sporting mega-events involve a level of organisation unmatched outside of wartime and planning that
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requires significant alterations to the governance of the host city or country’ (Fussey and Coaffee 2012a:
2), very few have sought to examine how security agencies and agents, which in the case of London 2012
numbered in excess of 40,000, are organised. In fact, it is also acknowledged that ‘when security problems
have occurred at sporting mega-events, it is the coordination and communication components that have
proved to be both crucial yet are also the most common points of failure’ (Fussey and Coaffee 2012a: 15).
One of the few to address this problem is Boyle (2011, 2012), who briefly traces some of the issues
concerning inter-agency coordination. While bringing attention to the issues of communication and
institutional structures, and the ways in which event organisers have attempted to deal with these
challenges, Boyle (2012) also makes the point that these are complex questions involving, inter alia,
issues of expertise, culture and trust. These questions are fundamentally about ‘networks’ (Whelan 2012).
Security Networks and Sports Mega Events
The concept of ‘network’ has been used to call attention to the relationships between agents involved in
policing and security. Although some have used the term loosely in relation to ‘surveillance networks’
(Lippert and O’Connor 2006), most have focused on ‘security networks’ (Brodeur and Dupont 2008;
Dupont 2004, 2006; Gill 2006; Palmer and Whelan 2006, 2014; Whelan 2011, 2012). For example,
Dupont (2004) distinguishes between different ideal-types of security networks, showing how they apply
at the local through to the international levels. Gill (2006) analyses how security agents work together
across different local, national and transnational ‘levels’ and state, corporate and communitarian ‘sectors’.
However, while the network concept is useful for ‘mapping’ the relationships (or ‘ties’) between security
agencies (Dupont 2006), more work is needed in order to analyse and understand exactly how these
agencies work together. Following the public administration and management literature (e.g., Provan, Fish
and Sydow 2007; Provan and Kenis 2008), these networks can be conceived as deliberately structured
platforms where agencies are required to work together to achieve their own goals as well as a broader
collective goal. Understanding these networks is crucial in order to understand precisely how the practices
of surveillance and security are organised. The remainder of this article defines ‘networks’ and ‘security
networks’, and puts forward a framework for further analysis in relation to sports mega events.
Defining ‘Networks’ and ‘Security Networks’
The term ‘network’ typically refers to a method of analysing relationships between a set of actors, or to a
unit of analysis relating to a particular form of organisation or governance. In network analysis, a network
can be defined as a set of actors or ‘nodes’ that have or may have relationships or ‘ties’ (Borgatti and
Foster 2003; Porter and Powell 2006). Actors can be people, groups, or organisations, for example.
Relationships can be of any type, and each type can define a different network. The idea of network
analysis is to ‘map’ the pattern of relationships between actors and to analyse the implications of these
relationships for the network and, more particularly, the actors in the network. Social network analysis has
long been presented as a surveillance and intelligence gathering technique (Sparrow 1991; Klerks 1999).
However, after 9/11 (Krebs 2002) it has been used to map security problems or ‘dark networks’ (Milward
and Raab 2006; Raab and Milward 2003), including criminal enterprises (e.g., Malm and Bichler 2011;
Malm, Kinney and Pollard 2008; Morselli 2010; Morselli and Giguere 2006), terror cells (Krebs 2002;
Koschade 2006) and even corrupt police (Lauchs et al. 2011). Dupont (2006) is one of the few to use
social network analysis in an attempt to map security networks.
As a form of organisation, a ‘network’ refers to a specific form of governance in contrast to the ideal-types
of hierarchies and markets, and a form which has a number of advantages over these other forms (Powell
1990). Hierarchies are the more traditional mode of organising; they are differentiated horizontally
through divisions between units and vertically through levels of authority, and are controlled through
administrative means. Markets involve no consciously designed organisational structure as such, with the
logic being that activities are loosely coordinated through price and contractual arrangements, with the law
an instrument for resolving disputes between parties. Networks involve repetitive exchanges between a set
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of autonomous but interdependent organisations to achieve particular objectives. Networks balance the
‘reliability’ of hierarchies with the ‘flexibility’ of markets, making them a more efficient way for
organisations to acquire resources and manage risks (Ebers 1997) and more effective means of managing
complex problems requiring coordination between organisations (O’Toole 1997). A networked
organisational structure displays both ‘structural’ properties, involving the design, size and level of goal-
consensus, and ‘relational’ properties concerning the formal and informal relationships between network
members (Provan and Kenis 2008). Where the network is designed as a means of providing inter-agency
coordinationor what network analysts call ‘goal-directed’ networks (Kilduff and Tsai 2003)most tend
to focus on the ‘formal’ rather than ‘informal’ relationships. However, the management literature points
out that these informal ‘social networks’ are often crucial for ‘understanding how work really gets done’
(see Cross and Parker 2004).
‘Security networks’ need to be viewed as forms of organising (Whelan 2012) in order to understand how
security agencies ‘work together’ to achieve their own goals as well as a collective or shared goal (see
Provan and Kenis 2008). Dupont (2004) distinguishes between four ideal-types of security networks:
local, international, institutional and virtual. While local and international networks differ in terms of their
geographical parameters and points of focus, institutional and virtual networks are particularly relevant to
sports mega events. Institutional security networks are platforms for inter-agency coordination (Brodeur
and Dupont 2008). These networks may include local, national and international actors or agents and, in
the context of sports events, public and private actors (Palmer and Whelan 2007). Institutional networks
are likely to be located in a particular space, such as task forces, fusion centres and interdepartmental
committees, the surveillance functions of which have received considerable attention (e.g., Monaghan and
Walby 2012; Monahan 2010). Many examples of such networks are briefly provided in the London 2012
Security Strategy, including the National Olympic Coordination Centre, which was a multi-agency centre
comprising links to key agencies headed by the National Olympic Security Coordinator, and was
supported by several smaller and more specialised Strategic Coordination Centres (Home Office 2011b).
However, institutional networks at sports mega events are likely to operate very differently to other more
enduring institutional networks, particularly in terms of culture and trust, given they are temporary in
Virtual networks provide the technical infrastructure enabling the communication and exchange of data
and information between security agencies or agents (Dupont 2004). They might also apply to the
surveillance systems collecting and managing data on individuals and relaying that data to various security
agents (Monahan 2010). However, when security networks are viewed as a principle of organising,
institutional and virtual or technological networks should be considered components of the broader
security networks (Whelan 2011). For example, in the case of London 2012, the National Olympic
Coordination Centre had access to video surveillance systems and the operational capacity to control how
that surveillance data was used. Therefore, technological systems, including those designed to
communicate between security agents or for the purposes of surveillance, involve broader complexities
that can only be addressed when these issues are examined as part of the overall matrix of security
initiatives that takes place in and through networks.
Designing a Framework for Research and Analysis
This paper now puts forward a framework for analysing networks, applying equally to those networks
involved exclusively in surveillance or security activities, as well as those practicing both. It should be
clear that surveillance practices occur in larger networks involving complex ‘structural’ and ‘relational’
dynamics. For example, video surveillance systems are not simply positioned in particular places but are
linked to and monitored by a select group of agencies, which then may or may not communicate the
content of this surveillance to other agencies. Security, as indicated earlier, is also highly dependent on the
performance of these networks given they are central to inter-agency communication and coordination.
Building on the standard structural and relational properties of networks, three additional foci of analysis
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are also crucial. These are ‘cultural’, ‘policy’ and ‘technological’ dimensions, which intertwine with
structural and relational factors to cover both the formal and informal aspects of networks. As such, these
properties are interdependent and raise important questions about how agencies work together at sports
mega events.
Network structure refers to the ‘design’ of a network, involving questions around the inclusion or
exclusion of actors and related issues associated with coordination and governance. If the network does
not comprise the required actors then it is unlikely to be effective in promoting meaningful inter-agency
communication. At the same time, there is an optimum size to a network. The larger the network, the more
difficult it is to manage. The internal coordination of network activities can be attempted in different ways
(Kenis and Provan 2009). For example, Provan and Kenis (2008) distinguish between ‘brokered’ and
‘shared’ network governance. Brokered network governance refers to the use of a central or ‘hub’ design
in which activities are controlled by a ‘lead organisation’. Shared network governance refers to a
decentralised or ‘all-channel’ design in which all members are relatively equal. Large security networks
are likely to have elements of both designs, whereby some ‘clusters’ within the network will be more
concentrated than others, and those clusters may be connected through both direct or indirect ties (Dupont
2006). The essential point is that some security networks can involve brokers or lead organisations, which
specifically coordinate the activities of network members, and other networks may have little or no
internal coordination. The design of these networks is also likely to change in different operational
contexts. For example, when responding to security problems increased coordination is often required. In
the context of sporting mega events, the sheer size of the ‘security assemblage’ suggests that the
challenges involved in designing networks, encompassing local, national and international actors, are
immense. While some have commented on the operational plans for how this has been done, such as with
London 2012 (Weston 2011), there is limited analysis on the importance of network design. This gap in
contemporary research is crucial to surveillance and security scholars alike, as the design of networks is
central to understanding the structural processes of inter-agency communication and coordination.
Network culture examines both cultures within networks and the culture of networks. Schein (2004: 17)
suggests that culture is to a group what personality is to an individual: the beliefs, values and attitudes
which form over the course of a group’s history and influence how it thinks and acts in relation to specific
problems. A ‘group’ can be defined as ‘as any social unit that has some kind of shared history’ (Schein
2004: 11). It can refer to networks (‘network culture’), organisations (‘organisational culture’) and units or
divisions within organisations (‘organisational sub-cultures’). The strength of any particular group’s
culture will depend on many factors, including the length of its history, the stability of its membership and
the types of experiences its members have shared. Culture has a profound impact on the extent to which
communication and collaboration takes place in networks. This is particularly true of surveillance and
security networks, where cultural barriers between police, security and intelligence agencies, and between
public and private sector agencies, can result in serious problems that can undermine security (Boyle
2012; Manning 2006; Warren 2002; Whelan 2012). For example, Ryan (2003) describes culture as one of
the key sources of inter-agency rivalry. The cultures of security networks themselves, and the cultural
differences between network members, are research questions likely to significantly advance our
knowledge of the issues associated with surveillance and security governance at sports mega events.
Policy concerns the formal procedures that aim to prescribe courses of action to actors in networks (Kenis
and Provan 2006). Policy applies to any number of network activities and has important bearing on the
processes of inter-agency communication, including helping with delineating roles and responsibilities of
actors that sometimes overlap and at other times conflict. The most obvious example concerning networks
in the field of national security is the requirements placed on the protection of security-classified
information, including the ‘need-to-know’ principle (see de Bruijn 2006). Any policy framework setting
out the types of information to be shared with certain agencies requires consideration of the multiple
security classifications and levels of access to that information. Those at the ‘core’ of the network usually
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Surveillance & Society 11(4)
control information centrally and distribute elements out to the ‘periphery’. The 9/11 Commission Report
identified a problematic tension between ‘information protection’ and ‘information sharing’ (National
Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States 2004: 417), arguing that agencies must adopt a
‘need-to-share’ information culture rather than retain their default position of needing to protect
information to ensure appropriate levels of inter-agency communication. A tension is also evident here
because adopting a policy that promotes the widespread sharing of information can be enormously
problematic, with networks likely to collapse under the weight of ‘information overload’ (Brodeur and
Dupont 2008). Crucial surveillance and security questions have long included the types of information that
are gathered and shared, and the potential implications of such practices for individual privacy (e.g.,
Monahan 2010). However, precisely how surveillance and security information should be communicated
remains a question that needs to be answered, particularly in relation to what level of information sharing
is necessary to promote security.
Network technology relates to the ‘infrastructure’ that enables the processing of information between
members of security networks. The most important aspects of technological infrastructure relate to the
ways in which information and communication systems are designed in the context of a network’s
structure, and how they are to be used by network members. In security-sensitive fields, an overriding
consideration involves balancing ‘information protection’ with ‘information sharing’ (Desouza 2009). The
design of surveillance, information and communication systems has traditionally been problematic for
security networks (Whelan 2012). Manning (2006) is among the few to address this issue in relation to
sports mega events. A common problem is the lack of interoperable systems, which compromises network
design and the capacity of technological systems to process large volumes of information. While security
technologies are arguably the primary focus of research into these dynamics and problems of surveillance
at sports mega events (e.g., Bennett and Haggerty 2011; Coaffee et al. 2011; Fussey et al. 2011; Fussey
and Coaffee 2012a), the overwhelming focus on these issues as contentious practices overlooks the
necessity for sophisticated information and communication technologies to process and distribute
information amongst diverse local, national and international security agencies. It is necessary to
understand and recognise these broader purposes of surveillance and the extent to which technological
systems can and do improve security at large-scale sports mega events.
Network relationships encompass both ‘micro’ interpersonal relationships and ‘macro’ relationships
between work units and organisations (see Brass, Galaskiewicz, Greve and Tsai 2004; Kilduff and
Krackhardt 2008). ‘Social networks’ involve informal relationships while ‘organisational networks are
commonly based on formal relationships between agencies. Both types of relationships require some level
of ‘trust’ (see Rousseau, Sitkin, Burt and Camerer 1998: 395), with social networks based on
‘interpersonal’ trust while more complex and structured relationships involve ‘inter-organisational’ trust.
Generally speaking, security networks at monolithic but temporary sports mega events are likely to be
characterised by ‘swift trust’ (Meyerson, Weick and Kramer 1996), in contrast to traditional forms of
‘relational’ trust that develop over long periods of time. However, the precise dynamics of relationships
and trust are likely to vary considerably amongst those at the ‘core’ of the network, who have typically
been working together in the planning of the event for some time (Boyle and Haggerty 2012; Manning
2006), and those at the ‘periphery’, who progressively enter the security network leading up to the event.
Trust also shapes the optimum size of a network. For example, as the level of trust increases, the need for
networks to be internally controlled through formal surveillance and other mechanisms decreases. Trust
moderates the effects of networks in complex ways, including how information is shared and with whom
it is shared, which we have barely begun to examine in the context of sports mega events.
Sports mega events have attracted a considerable amount of attention in recent years from a range of
perspectives. Events such as the Olympic Games, FIFA World Cups and Commonwealth Games are key
Whelan: Surveillance, Security and Sports Mega Events
Surveillance & Society 11(4)
sites where surveillance and security intersect in complex ways. While there is no doubt that surveillance
and security are and should remain discrete concepts (Lyon and Murakami Wood 2012), surveillance is a
key method of promoting security at sports mega events. Most literature to date has focused on the
questionable ways that surveillance technologies are introduced and deployed at sports mega events,
particularly in light of their post event ‘security legacies’ (e.g., Bennett and Haggerty 2011; Coaffee et al.
2011; Fussey et al. 2011; Fussey and Coaffee 2012b). This paper calls attention to some other important
surveillance and security questions. For example, rather than focus on how security technologies are
directed towards monitoring and controlling the behaviour of sports spectators, this article focuses on how
surveillance data and security technologies are used ‘behind the scenes’. This perspective focuses on
surveillance and security practices within and between the agents involved in providing security rather
than the potential targets of the security spectacle.
The practices of surveillance and security need to be understood in the broader context of networks.
Surveillance technologies, for example, are a means by which data is collected and organised for a
particular purpose. When that purpose is security, as is often (but not always) the case, the function of that
data can only be properly understood in relation to various networks of security governance. The
dynamics of these security networks at sports mega events have so far received limited scholarly attention.
Other than the prevailing focus on surveillance technologies, scholars have tended to address security
infrastructures in relation to urban design as well as other important questions about how security risks are
defined, identified and managed (e.g., Fussey and Coaffee 2012a; Giulianotti and Klauser 2010; Richards
et al. 2011). A network perspective recognises the broader complexity and interrelationship between
surveillance and security practices, by focusing on how agencies communicate, coordinate and collaborate
and otherwise ‘work together’ (Whelan forthcoming). The framework provided here involves examining
security networks across five levels of analysis: structural, cultural, policy, technological and relational.
Each level involves important but interdependent sets of questions associated with the processes of
surveillance and mega event security. The structure of networks and the relationships between their
members has different implications for those organising distinct sports mega events. In addition, critical
cultural differences between surveillance and security agents and agencies, as well as the policies designed
to regulate the terms of information exchange and technological practices enabling data exchange, are
particularly important to agents practicing surveillance and security. More particularly, given the
enormous complexity of the security assemblage, these questions are directly relevant to the organisation
of surveillance and security, and future research into the interplay between these processes at sports mega
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... As such, scholarly examinations of the side effects and impacts of event securitization have formed a subfield within the broader study of mega-events. It is here the concept of event-related 'security networks' Whelan, 2014) and more generally, the practice of international cooperation between security actors for safety purposes can be located. Within the security operations that are associated with SMEs and football matches of an international significance (Council of the European Union, 2010), transnational cooperation and information-sharing have now become integral resources, and are essential components of SMEs multifaceted securitization processes Jennings, 2014;Tsoukala, 2009Tsoukala, , 2016. ...
... As expanded upon later, this number of hosts naturally means certain cities possess more experience of housing SMEs and dealing with their full use of all existing international agreements, recommendations and good practices relating to the organisation of international sports events in order to ensure the best possible cooperation between the host, participating, transit and neighbouring countries. (UEFA, 2013, Sector 6, p. 8) Subsequently, this merely reaffirms what existing literaturenow to be reviewedalready documents Klauser, 2011aKlauser, , 2011bWhelan, 2014). Namely, that contemporary SME's security operations require, and are based upon principles of transnational cooperation and the establishment of what has been conceptualized as security networks. ...
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The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Euro 2020 will, for the first time in the history, be staged in 12 different countries across the European continent. However, such a geographically diffuse celebration also gives life to certain challenges. Particularly for the event’s security, which will involve a larger number of host countries and actors, responsible for, and required to cooperate transnationally and form what literature refers to as ‘security networks’. As such, this article draws upon academic literature in the fields of sociology, policing and event management and delineates three key challenges and related opportunities speaking to international cooperation between security actors provided by Euro 2020’s format. These include (1) overcoming cultural and linguistic barriers (2) valuable lessons for less experienced hosts and (3) establishment of new, ‘good practices’. Undeniably, the event produces opportunities, but also significant hurdles, important to give academic attention and examination with the event approaching in time.
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... In one situation a resident tried to find out how a hearse could gain entry to the community for a funeral after the death of a resident, only to be met with silence and plain refusal to provide information, The claims that private security 'didn't know' the answer to particular queries may have been true, despite public perceptions feeling that this was part of a deception strategy. For example, Whelan (2014) and Whelan and Molnar (2018) both identify some of the problems with security networks, where the default position of actors within networks may be to safeguard information. They also highlight how within networks there is the tendency to funnel decision upwards (Whelan and Molnar 2018, 167). ...
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... Now, SMEs represent securitized climates. Therefore, existing studies have tended to look at historical incidents of sport-related terrorism (Galily, Yarchi, & Tamir, 2015;Spaaij, 2016), event-specific security apparatus (Armstrong, Giulianotti, & Hobbs, 2017;Coaffee, Fussey, & Moore, 2011), many of whom involving implementations of new, high-tech surveillance systems (Armstrong et al., 2017;Sugden, 2012), but also security-related concepts such as "security legacies" (Eick, 2011;Giulianotti, 2013) and "security networks" (Boyle, 2011;Whelan, 2014). Some scholars investigate the mediation of security issues at SMEs (Atkinson & Young, 2012;Falcous & Silk, 2005). ...
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Over the past decade, any cautions there have been that physical activity might negatively impact the fetus, in part by limiting fetal size, have shifted towards optimism that prenatal exercise can help women gain less weight in pregnancy, reduce fetal size, and prevent childhood obesity. The result has been a growing emphasis on the risk of inactivity during pregnancy, even though scientific evidence about the impact of exercise on fetal growth is inconclusive. In this chapter, we use tools from the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) to foreground materiality in our feminist inquiry of the gendered politics of knowledge production about prenatal exercise. Drawing on Mol’s (The body multiple: Ontology in medical practice. Duke University Press, Durham and London, 2002) concept of the body multiple, which demonstrates how multiple body ontologies are performed in healthcare contexts via a range of material and technical practices, we outline two combined practices mobilized to make the risk of physical inactivity ‘matter’ in the contemporary moment, namely the privileging of the over-nutrition hypothesis and a linear model of causality. In doing so, we draw attention to the network of relations that enact this singular version of prenatal exercise risk. We conclude with a discussion of how which body ontology takes shape—of the multiple possible—is a political process.
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This essay follows up on an article published in Soccer & Society prior to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. There it was argued that this edition of the World Cup served as particularly interesting for the academic field focussed on sport-mega events (SMEs) and ‘security’, because of its uniquely securitized climate. Written immediately after the 2018 World Cup, the present essay reflects upon the event’s ‘security’ and mega-event security more broadly. It revisits some ‘security-related’ episodes. Then, special attention will be given the media discourse vis-à-vis ‘hooliganism’. The essay argues that the media discourse took an unorthodox ‘turn’ with regard to English ‘hooligans’, who, compared to past events, were portrayed as being ‘in risk’ – rather than being the group generating ‘the risk’ of football-related violence and public disorder.
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Peaceful acts of protest are relatively common in popular Australian sports and entertainment. Traditionally, protest has been regulated through criminal and adjunct summary offences or policing legislation. Trends in corporate governance and state-sponsored event management have significant implications for individual and collective rights of protest at popular domestic and international events. In reviewing prominent incidents of protest and the evolution of public order laws in Victoria and New South Wales, this article highlights the complexity and contradictions underpinning the regulation of protest at major entertainment venues, and examines the impact of recent legislative reforms facilitating professional corporate event management.
This book brings a social networks perspective to bear on topics of leadership, decision-making, turnover, organizational crises, organizational culture, and other major organizational behavior topics. It offers a new direction for organizational behavior theory and research by drawing from social network ideas. Across diverse research topics, the authors pursue an integrated focus on social ties both as they are represented in the cognitions of individuals and as they operate as constraints and opportunities in organizational settings. The authors bring their 20 years worth of research experience together to provide a programmatic social network approach to understanding the internal functioning of organizations. By focusing a distinctive research lens on interpersonal networks, they attempt to discover the keys to the whole realm of organizational behavior through the social network approach.
Networks and organizations Networks provide three broad categories of benefits: access, timeliness and referrals (Burt 1992). They are a ubiquitous and critical feature of organizational life. Organizations have never been isolated, self-sustaining operations; thus all organizations, as well as the individuals within them, are enmeshed in networks at varied, multiple levels. More recently, however, the decline of the vertically integrated firm in favour of outsourcing, the rapid growth of the global economy, the pressing need to access knowledge and resources outside the boundaries of an organization, and the increased co-ordination efforts resulting from spreading an organization's operations to multiple locations around the world, have amplified the salience and variety of networks. This growth has triggered increased scholarly attention both to internal networks within organizations and external linkages across organizations. Over the past two decades, a steady stream of research on networks has exploded into a rich and prolific line of ...
Introduction The recent scholarly interest in terrorism and anti-terrorism as a social problem exemplifies how politics and political interests shape research. The most penetrating and lucid work is the Report of the 9/11 Commission (2004). Clearly, control of, and response to, terrorism is a question of relevance to police studies, to the governance of security, and speaks to the fragmentation and multiplicity of forms of social control. Simultaneously, the power of the state has grown (Cohen 1985; Garland 2001; Johnston and Shearing 2003). Contemporaneous studies of social control agents and agencies provide data that can connect organizational theories, the negative risks associated with terrorism, and observable police actions in respect to putative terrorism and/or anti-terrorism. The emerging role of private and public police and anti-terrorism preparations are particularly revealing of the changing shape of control because terrorist policing and anti-terrorist policing, with some exceptions, have previously been eschewed by Anglo-American police (Liang 1993; Manning 2003: 41–2). Implicit in these developments is the question of to what degree these preparations threaten democratic freedoms and civil liberties. This chapter, drawing on ethnographic-evidence studies of organizational responses to terrorism, has three themes. The first theme is that contingencies imagined as negative risks are not shared within and across policing (regulatory) organizations. The second concerns the problems associated with assembling temporary organizational networks to defend an event, place, or group at risk. © Cambridge University Press 2006 and Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Threats of terrorism, natural disaster, identity theft, job loss, illegal immigration, and even biblical apocalypse-all are perils that trigger alarm in people today. Although there may be a factual basis for many of these fears, they do not simply represent objective conditions. Feelings of insecurity are instilled by politicians and the media, and sustained by urban fortification, technological surveillance, and economic vulnerability.Surveillance in the Time of Insecurity fuses advanced theoretical accounts of state power and neoliberalism with original research from the social settings in which insecurity dynamics play out in the new century. Torin Monahan explores the counterterrorism-themed show 24, Rapture fiction, traffic control centers, security conferences, public housing, and gated communities, and examines how each manifests complex relationships of inequality, insecurity, and surveillance. Alleviating insecurity requires that we confront its mythic dimensions, the politics inherent in new configurations of security provision, and the structural obstacles to achieving equality in societies.
Often seen as the host nation's largest ever logistical undertaking, accommodating the Olympics and its attendant security infrastructure brings seismic changes to both the physical and social geography of its destination. Since 1976, the defence of the spectacle has become the central feature of its planning, one that has assumed even greater prominence following the bombing of the 1996 Atlanta Games and, most importantly, 9/11. Indeed, the quintupled cost of securing the first post-9/11 summer Games in Athens demonstrates the considerable scale and complexity currently implicated in these operations. Such costs are not only fiscal. The Games stimulate a tidal wave of redevelopment ushering in new gentrified urban settings and an associated investment that may or may not soak through to the incumbent community. Given the unusual step of developing London's Olympic Park in the heart of an existing urban milieu and the stated commitments to ‘community development’ and ‘legacy’, these constitute particularly acute issues for the 2012 Games. In addition to sealing the Olympic Park from perceived threats, 2012 security operations have also harnessed the administrative criminological staples of community safety and crime reduction to generate an ordered space in the surrounding areas. Of central importance here are the issues of citizenship, engagement and access in urban spaces redeveloped upon the themes of security and commerce. Through analyzing the social and community impact of the 2012 Games and its security operation on East London, this book concludes by considering the key debates as to whether utopian visions of legacy can be sustained given the demands of providing a global securitized event of the magnitude of the modern Olympics. © Pete Fussey, Jon Coaffee, Gary Armstrong and Dick Hobbs 2011. All rights reserved.