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Who Is Taking Part? Political Subjectivity in Glasgow's Commonwealth Games

Fitzpatrick, Susan (2016) Who Is Taking Part? Political Subjectivity in Glasgow's Commonwealth Games. Area.

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Abstract

This paper examines the problems of locating political subjectivity in the midst of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games of 2014 and takes as its starting point Ranciere’s contention that politics cannot be defined on the basis of any pre-existing subject. The Commonwealth Games, as both policy vehicle and a form of knowing the world, constructs subjects through the invocation of ‘legacy’. This involves assuming a consensual populism within which social problems are identified and rectified through the eventfulness of the event. However, leading on from Ranciere’s contention above, this paper suggests a critical perspective where the event itself is de-centred in order to move beyond the citational response to mega-events: that policy constructs subjugated subjects. The paper proceeds by examining how the logics of local residents of East Glasgow elude subjugation in their encounters with the official discourses of the mega-event. It outlines the ways that political subjectivity is brought forth in two discursive spaces: first, within Games Legacy Evaluation Reports. Second, a public meeting organised by Glasgow City Council as part of their Get Ready Glasgow series. These spaces are considered alongside recent academic criticism that focuses on the corrective elements of social policy relating to sporting mega events.
Key words: post politics, Ranciere, performativity, sports mega-event, Commonwealth Games

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This paper was written at the end of the author's three year period of involvement in Glasgow Games Monitor, an independent group of researchers producing open access critical research on welfare and housing policy, and the gentrification strategizing of Glasgow's local government and their partners in the run up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. For more information and outputs from this research please visit http://gamesmonitor2014.org/
Status: Published
DOI: 10.1111/area.12295
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
School/Department: School of Humanities, Religion & Philosophy
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/1734

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