Discourse of Olympic Security

  • Malcolm N. MacDonaldEmail author
  • Duncan Hunter


This chapter investigates the discursive realization of the security operation for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Drawing on Didier Bigo’s (Terror, Insecurity and Liberty: Illiberal Practices of Liberal Regimes After 9/11. Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, 2008) conceptualisation of the ‘banopticon’, it explores which distinctive linguistic features are used in documents relating to security for London 2012 and how Olympic security is realized as a discursive practice. Our findings suggest that this discourse indeed realized key features of the banopticon: exceptionalism, exclusion and prediction; as well as what we call ‘pedagogisation’. Claims were made for the exceptional scale of the Olympic events; predictive technologies were proposed to assess the threat from terrorism; and access to Olympic venues was constituted to resemble transit through national boundaries. Finally, pedagogic practices were constituted to regulate the training of security operatives for the Games.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Applied LinguisticsUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK
  2. 2.School of EducationUniversity of HullHullUK

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