New in Knowledge Bank: The greatest mega-event of all time

The Beijing Olympics had a great impact not only on China, but on the world, Paul Close argues in his article. Photo by Flickr user DPerstin, used under a Creative Commons 2,0 License.

26.01.2011

By Paul Close
The Beijing Olympics was a unique event in many senses, and China has been one of time’s most debated Olympic hosts. New article examines the great global impact of the Beijing Olympiad.

The Beijing Olympics was a unique event in many senses, and the People’s Republic of China has been one of time’s most debated Olympic hosts. The debate about the Beijing Olympics was largely political and while sport and politics are not supposed to be mixed, politics had a great impact on the legacy of the Beijing Olympiad and the 2008 Games, argues Paul Close, writer and academic, in his article The Beijing Olympiad’s achievement and legacy in global perspective, to be found in Play the Game’s Knowledge Bank.

Paul Close is affiliated with the Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG), Faculty of Social Sciences at the Open University, UK.

"One way of looking at the 2008 Games", Close writes, "is that they were awarded (by the West) to Beijing as a reward for the PRC […] coming onside as a capitalist social formation; for the PRC having embraced mainstays of the Western cultural account and, above all, of Western-style capitalism […]; for the PRC having peacefully, even meekly, given up its ideological struggle against capitalism and Cold War stand-off with the […] West; and for the PRC having more or less sealed the historical fate of historical materialism, the old world order, and the second phase of globalisation."

Close describes the Beijing Olympiad as a “coming-out party  of unprecedented and unlikely-to-be-repeated proportions”, celebrating China’s transition and entrance into the global community. However it was not just China’s party,  but the entire world’s:

“It was a celebration of the transition to the new world order in conjunction with that to the current third stage of globalisation, marked by a major advance in the Western-led drive towards a single global social (economic, political and cultural) space.”

These factors, Close argues in his article, are the reasons why the Beijing Olympiad will remain the greatest mega-event of all time.

Read the article here:

The Beijing Olympiad’s achievement and legacy in global perspective

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