© 2018

Securing Mega-Events

Networks, Strategies and Tensions


Part of the Crime Prevention and Security Management book series (CPSM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Chad Whelan, Adam Molnar
    Pages 1-24
  3. Chad Whelan, Adam Molnar
    Pages 25-58
  4. Chad Whelan, Adam Molnar
    Pages 123-153
  5. Chad Whelan, Adam Molnar
    Pages 155-184
  6. Chad Whelan, Adam Molnar
    Pages 185-201
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 203-229

About this book


Mega-events such as the Olympic Games, World Cup finals and international political summits are occasions of almost unparalleled economic, political and social significance for host nations and cities. The scale and scope of mega-event security has continued to grow enormously since 11 September 2001, consistently involving the largest policing and security operations for event hosts outside of wartime. This book is the first to focus exclusively on the organisational dynamics underpinning the design and delivery of mega-event security.

Using the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia in November 2014 as a case study, in conjunction with comparisons with events such as the Toronto 2010 G20, the authors engage in a comprehensive assessment of the networks, strategies and tensions involved in mega-event security. By drawing on the insightful experiences of those responsible for securing the Brisbane 2014 G20, the authors look behind-the-scenes to capture the complexity of mega-event security. The authors argue that such an approach is essential to better appreciate how different conceptions of security, ways of thinking and acting, impact a range of security ideals and outcomes.


police events security taskforce G20 terrorism logistics operations risk threat communication crime prevention policing

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and EducationDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia
  2. 2.School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and EducationDeakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia

About the authors

Chad Whelan is Associate Professor in Criminology at Deakin University, Australia.

Adam Molnar is Lecturer in Criminology at Deakin University, Australia.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Securing Mega-Events
  • Book Subtitle Networks, Strategies and Tensions
  • Authors Chad Whelan
    Adam Molnar
  • Series Title Crime Prevention and Security Management
  • Series Abbreviated Title Crime Prevention and Security Management
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Law and Criminology Law and Criminology (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-59667-3
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-93699-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-59668-0
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIX, 229
  • Number of Illustrations 5 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Crime Prevention
    Crime and Society
    International Security Studies
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“Mega-events such as political summits and international sports tournaments present immense security challenges to the mosaic of public and private organizations that are responsible for the safety of their participants and the surrounding populations. Coordinating such a diverse patchwork of organizations, whose rationalities, capacities and goals vary widely proves a complex undertaking that generates its fair share of tensions. In this richly documented book, Chad Whelan and Adam Molnar take us through a deep dive into one of those mega-events (the Brisbane 2014 G20 summit) and show in unprecedented detail how their security is planned and delivered. Using a security network approach, they provide new insights into the inherent tensions that run through these temporary assemblages. They also develop a detailed and nuanced analysis of the conflicting conceptions of security at play and how their frequent collisions produced unexpected outcomes. This book makes a unique contribution to our understanding of the governance of security in globalized societies.” (Benoît Dupont, International Centre for Comparative Criminology, Université de Montréal, Canada)

Whelan and Molnar note differences and similarities in key notions such as ‘security’ and ‘perceived threat,’ the tensions resulting, problems in assigning roles and responsibilities, and the role of organizational culture, and trust. They explore the uses of technology in security provision and information sharing. Given that creating security is a process, a matter of social construction and communication, both the structural (design, internal structures) and relational (interpersonal and inter-organizational relations) aspects of the networks created are considered. This is a creative, well-theorized study using interviews with key actors and organizations, and an important contribution to an area of study with increasing importance. (Peter Manning, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Northeastern University, USA)