The Impact of Mega-events on Local Politics

The Impact of Mega-events on Local Politics

This course is about power in urban governance — who has it, how it is acquired, how it is used, and what it is used for. One of the most visible objects of power is

the “mega-event” or “mega-project.” In the context of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and also the 2015 Pan-Am and Parapan Games to be held in Toronto

(including major sports venues on the UTSC campus) it seems appropriate to examine the impact of mega-events on local politics and the urban environment.

You will read the book Olympic Dreams: The Impact of Mega-events on Local Politics (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001). The book is short, clearly written, and relates

directly to the ideas about urban politics introduced in the first part of the course.It is available on the bookstore.

The organization of the book is typical of academic writing. The first part of the book introduces a theoretical framework, which is then used to explain what happened

in several empirical cases. The core of this assignment is to think about how empirical research can be used to illuminate, prove, or disprove theories.

Being able to read and compactly summarize text is a valuable skill in academic and professional environments. The purpose of the Reading Journal is to give you

practice in reading and note-taking, and to ensure that you read the book a bit at a time during the term rather than all at once at the end!

You will submit two Reading Journal entries. In the first one, due Oct.7, you will cover the theoretical chapters of the book — Chapters 1, 2, and 3. Look out for

theories and key terms. For example, what do they mean by “consumption-oriented economic development,” the “post-federal era,” an “urban mega-event strategy,” and an

“urban regime”? The objective is briefly summarize the main points, not every little detail.

For the second journal entry, due Oct. 28, you will read two of the three case study chapters (your choice of chapters 4, 5, or 6) and the concluding chapter (chapter

7). Your objective is to identify and summarize the most important pieces of factual information that support the theories and arguments presented in the first three


Grading rubric:

Points (/5)    Item
1    Proper text and citation formatting, length, clearwriting style, good spelling and grammar
4    Clarity of summary of main concepts and facts, with no major omissions

Format for all assignments: All assignments must be double-spaced on letter-sized paper with one-inch margins. Please use 12-point Times, Cambria, or equivalent font.

No cover sheet is necessary. Put your name, student number, and U of T e-mail address at the top of the first page.

Citation style: Please use in-textcitation of page numbers for all ideas and direct quotations. No bibliography is required because you are only citing the one book!

•    Reading journals: 2–3 pages each

**** Previous assignments must be handed in or the current one will not be marked. In other word, if you skip the first Journal, the second one and the Essay will not

be graded; i
f you skip with Journals, the Essay will not be graded.


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