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Potemkin neoliberalism: developing Volgograd through the 2018 Men’s World Cup in Russia


Wolfe, Sven Daniel (2022). Potemkin neoliberalism: developing Volgograd through the 2018 Men’s World Cup in Russia. Sport in Society, 25(10):2088-2106.

Abstract

This paper investigates the preparations for the 2018 Men’s Football World Cup in Russia through the lens of neoliberal urban entrepreneurialism. Unlike many other mega-events, this World Cup was orchestrated by the central state, though using neoliberal rhetoric to legitimize a wide-ranging urban development program aimed at modernizing peripheral host cities. Grounded in an exploration of urban development in the host city of Volgograd, this paper demonstrates that the intersection of state-led development impulses, neoliberal rhetoric, and local needs resulted in a mega-event that emphasized a narrow form of development over more substantial interventions that could have benefited the host population more efficiently. To make sense of these developments, the paper proposes the concept of Potemkin Neoliberalism, exploring the various dimensions of superficiality inherent in this state-led mega-event.

Abstract

This paper investigates the preparations for the 2018 Men’s Football World Cup in Russia through the lens of neoliberal urban entrepreneurialism. Unlike many other mega-events, this World Cup was orchestrated by the central state, though using neoliberal rhetoric to legitimize a wide-ranging urban development program aimed at modernizing peripheral host cities. Grounded in an exploration of urban development in the host city of Volgograd, this paper demonstrates that the intersection of state-led development impulses, neoliberal rhetoric, and local needs resulted in a mega-event that emphasized a narrow form of development over more substantial interventions that could have benefited the host population more efficiently. To make sense of these developments, the paper proposes the concept of Potemkin Neoliberalism, exploring the various dimensions of superficiality inherent in this state-led mega-event.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Cultural Studies
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cultural Studies
Language:English
Date:3 October 2022
Deposited On:15 Feb 2023 16:06
Last Modified:28 Apr 2024 01:50
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1743-0437
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2020.1825382