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Call for Papers

The sport mega-events of the 2020s: Governance, Impacts and Controversies

For analysts, practitioners, scholars and followers of the sporting world, the new decade, the 2020s, pose an extremely intriguing period. As with the previous decade, the next ten years will see a number of sport mega-events (SMEs) – that already have received much attention by the media and within political realms – be staged, broadcasted and leave their legacy on the respective host cities. Given the enormous sizes of SMEs, their global reach, position in social calendars and the considerable efforts that go into making ‘successful’ events, every SME is highly significant in social, cultural, political and economic domains. Whereas this reflects the interdisciplinary potential of the scholarship committed to SMEs, it has also been argued that mega-events always have the capacity to surprise us (Roche, 2017).

Arguably, this is accurately illustrated by the upcoming decade of SMEs which starts with the 2020 Men’s European Championships in men’s football which, uniquely in an SME setting, takes up a highly extraordinary and mobile geographical shape, being staged in 12 European countries. Merely weeks after, all eyes will be on Tokyo as the city hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics. This only marks the beginning of the decade. In the following years, events that will be staged include, but are not limited to: UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 (England), the controversial 2022 Qatar FIFA Men’s World Cup, the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup, promoted as ‘United 2026’ and co-hosted by Canada, Mexico and the US.

In this sense, if aiming to advance the study of mega-events, it is timely and necessary to give attention to the upcoming SMEs of the 2020s. Consequently, this special issue will be focused on understanding these three themes in relation to the mega-events of the 2020s:

  • Examine the ‘governance’ of SMEs;
  • Understand the event’s potential and alleged ‘legacies and ‘impacts’;
  • Approach issues around ethics, controversy and bidding

To sufficiently do so, the special issue will take an inter-disciplinary approach to understand what lies behind and ahead of the mega-events of the 2020s. The special issue aims to attract case studies that are both theoretically and empirically informed and, simultaneously, are characterized by a transnational focus. Given the nature of the overarching topic and because a number of the events are yet to take place, we do also encourage conceptual contributions, research agendas and comments. Overall, we emphasize contributions that are original, rigorously designed and executed and impactful. We encourage both disciplinary and methodological plurality.

Abstracts (300-500 words) are invited for articles for this special issue in Sport in Society. Selected papers will be published in this special issue of Sport in Society. We welcome contributions on the following topics, although this does not represent an all-inclusive list:

  • Governance, nation states and transnational corporations
  • Politics
  • Culture
  • Sport and development
  • Policing, surveillance and security
  • Human rights and law
  • Management
  • Finance
  • Fandom
  • Sports Tourism
  • Technology and decision-aid technologies (i.e. VAR, hawk-eye)
  • Media
  • Consumption, Commercialization, Sponsorships
  • Broadcasting
  • Ethics
  • Event bidding processes
  • Legacies

Guest Editors

Jan Andre Lee Ludvigsen (Liverpool John Moores University, UK) J.A.Ludvigsen@2018.ljmu.ac.uk

Joel Rookwood (University of Central Lancashire, UK) Jrookwood1@uclan.ac.uk

Daniel Parnell (University of Liverpool, UK) d.parnell@liverpool.ac.uk

Submission guidelines

  • 30 June 2020 – Potential authors to submit abstract proposals to guest editors
  • 18 July – Abstract feedback to potential authors given
  • 18 February 2021 – Authors submit their full papers via the journals ManuscriptCentral site. All papers will undergo double-blind peer-review
  • 15 March 2021 - This will be the end of the rolling peer-review period and all authors will have their feedback.
  • 9 November 2021 - Authors to submit their full and final papers to all guest editors
  • 10 January 2022 – Guest editors will submit final issue to Boria Mujamadar & colleagues
  • March – April 2022 – Publication of Special issue

All submissions are to be submitted via Manuscript Central.

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