(By Robert Orttung and Sufian Zhemukhov) This article examines the impact of mega-events on civil society. Based on a case study of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, it concludes that mega-events provide a way for state-business alliances to impose their development preferences on society with little oversight or accountability. Environmental groups, in particular, find few opportunities to influence decisions. Nevertheless, activism is not completely futile because, in some cases, groups can use events like the Olympics as a platform to score small victories and to develop experience that can be applied in subsequent confrontations. Additionally, mega-events expand the repertoire of Russian organizations by giving them a central focus around which they can organize, though to date, they have not taken advantage of these opportunities.
See the article © Euxeinos 12 (2013)