Surveillance by Proxy: Sport and Security in a Modern Age

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This article considers the growing emphasis countries hosting major sporting eventsplace on the implementation of security and counterterrorism measures and theimpact this approach has on the civil liberties of their citizens. From the seminal,and ultimately tragic, events of the Munich Olympics in 1972 until the most recentterrorist attack witnessed at a major sporting event—that which marred the closeof the Boston marathon of April 2013—this piece reflects on the full extent ofthe impact counterterrorism measures have had on the activities of wider society,including the creation of an abnormal host setting prior to and during the sportingevent in question, not to mention its legacy long after it has ended and focus is drawnto a new location. It suggests that there is a real danger that international sportingevents create a convenient setting within which the impositions of security measures,which are only marginally justifiable in the context of the event in question, continueto be unquestioningly implemented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-1056
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 18 Feb 2016


  • Sport
  • Terrorism
  • Security
  • Olympics
  • Politics


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