The author would like to thank three anonymous IJURR referees for their exemplary engagement with earlier drafts of this article. Thanks also to audiences at the AAG in New York and at the Politecnico di Milano for their comments and thoughts on a presentation based on the article. The responsibility for the final draft is, of course, the author's alone.
Delivering Flagship Projects in an Era of Regulatory Capitalism: State-led Privatization and the London Olympics 2012
Article first published online: 27 MAY 2013
© 2013 The Author. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main St, Malden, MA 02148, USA on behalf of Urban Research Publications Limited.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
Volume 38, Issue 1, pages 176–197, January 2014
How to Cite
Raco, M. (2014), Delivering Flagship Projects in an Era of Regulatory Capitalism: State-led Privatization and the London Olympics 2012. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38: 176–197. doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12025
Correction Note: This article was first published online on the 27th of May 2013, under a subscription publication licence. The article has since been made OnlineOpen, and the copyright line and licence statement was therefore updated in June 2014.
- Issue published online: 23 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 27 MAY 2013
- urban development;
- United Kingdom;
Much of the urban studies literature on the London Olympics has focused on its social legacies and the top-down nature of policy agendas. This article explores one element that has been less well covered — the contractual dynamics and delivery networks that have shaped infrastructure provision. Drawing on interviews and freedom of information requests, this article explores the mechanisms involved in the project's delivery and their implications for broader understandings of urban politics and policymaking. It assesses contemporary writings on regulatory capitalism, public–private networks and new contractual spaces to frame the empirical discussion. This article argues that the London Olympic model has been characterized by the prioritization of delivery over representative democracy. Democratic imperatives, such as those around sustainability and employment rights, have been institutionally re-placed and converted into contractual requirements on firms. This form of state-led privatization of the development process represents a new, and for some, potentially more effective mode of governance than those offered by traditional systems of regulation and management.