Government and Opposition


Governing Mega-Events: Tools of Security Risk Management for the FIFA 2006 World Cup in Germany and London 2012 Olympic Games

Will Jennings1 and Martin Lodge


Mega-events present a special venue for the practice of risk management. This article analyses the management of security risks in the case of two sporting mega-events, the London 2012 Olympic Games and the FIFA 2006 World Cup in Germany. To what extent do strategies and practices of risk management resemble each other across events? And what explains similarities or differences in the tools of risk management observed in each of these cases? First, this article explores three theoretical explanations for the choice of particular policy tools or instruments. Second, it introduces the tools of government approach as a means of conducting a direct comparative analysis of risk management across political and organizational settings and over time. The tools used for security risk management at the two mega-events are then compared and the different logics of tool choice are evaluated. This analytical approach offers a basis for future comparative inquiry into tools of risk management used in public and private organizations. The empirical findings highlight the particular importance of national political systems in influencing tool choice.


1 Will Jennings thanks the UK Economic and Social Research Council for support through the ESRC Research Fellowship (ESRC Reference RES-063-27-0205), ‘Going for Gold: The Olympics, Risk and Risk Management’.