Iterations of Olympic security: Montreal and Vancouver

New releases 3 years ago

Article written by Philip Boyle, Department of Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo (Canada) and Dominique Clément and Kevin D Haggerty, from the Department of Sociology, University of Alberta (Canada)

“This article compares security dynamics at two Olympic Games hosted by Canada: Montreal (1976) and Vancouver (2010). It is the first study of security at the Montreal Olympics and was only made possible after four years of requests under the Access to Information Act that resulted in the release of thousands of classified security documents in French and English. A comparative study of the two largest peacetime security operations in Canadian history offers unique insights into the challenges of hosting a major international gathering in the aftermath of an international terrorist incident: the 1972 Munich massacre and the 11 September 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. The comparison further offers an opportunity to chart the continuities and differences in Olympic security over time. We focus in part on how the historical context of each event informed ‘imaginaries of disaster’. We also examine continuities in the official security response, such as the emphasis on advance intelligence gathering, security ‘mock-ups’, manpower allocation, coalitions of security agencies and technological innovation. We conclude with some considerations on security legacies and the importance of major event security as a subject of comparative inquiry.”

The article was published at the journal Security Dialogue, September 15, 2014

 download(from the editors website)