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Research Network: Sochi Winter Olympics 2014


Bo Petersson
Professor of Political Science and IMER, Malmö University

Karina Vamling
Professor of Caucasus Studies, Malmö University

The Sochi Predicament:

Contexts, Characteristics and Challenges of the Olympic Winter Games in 2014

Book cover

"For a variety of political, climatic, ecological, security-related and other reasons, the Russian summer resort of Sochi by the Black Sea would seem a most unlikely candidate for the Olympic Winter Games. Despite this, the Games will be held there in February 2014, and the Russian leaders regard the Games as a highly prestigious project underlining Russia’s return to a status of great power in the contemporary world. This book conducts a thorough inventory of the contexts, characteristics and challenges facing the Sochi Games. It deals with the problems from Russian, Georgian, Abkhazian and Circassian perspectives and makes in-depth analyses of profound challenges related to matters such as identity, security, and ethnic relations. The book brings together an international group of eminent scholars representing different disciplinary perspectives, including political science, sports science, ethics, ethnology, and Caucasian studies."

Published September 2013

Read more on the Cambridge Scholars Publishing website

Bo Petersson & Karina Vamling (eds.) 
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013

Table of Contents

The Sochi Winter Olympics: Walking  Tightrope?
– Bo Petersson and Karina Vamling

Part I: Olympic Perspectives
1 Snow, Ice, and Vertical Drops: What is Different about the Sochi Olympics?
– Raymond Taras
2 The Sochi Winter Games: Marketing and Sustainable Development—Or Neither Nor?
– Karin Book
3 Environmental Ethics and the Olympics: On the Reconstruction of Nature for Sport
– Kutte Jönsson

Part II: Identity Matters
4 Olympism and Empire: The Olympic Myth in the Contestation of the Caucasus
– Emil Persson
5 Sochi as a Site of Circassian Long-Distance Memorialisation
– Lars Funch Hansen
6 The Sympols of Sochi 2014: Searching for the Visual Signs of New Russian Political Identity
– Sergei Akopov and Vitalii Volkov

Part III: Internal Order and Security
7  Russia's Olympic Discourses: Effects of Unification and Diversification
– Andrei Makarychev
8  Securitization in the North Caucasus on the Eve of the Sochi Games
– Uliana Hellberg
9 The Terrorist Threat Against Sochi 2014
– Jakob Hedenskog

Part IV: Caucasian Knots
10 Security of the Winter Olympics in Sochi from a Georgian Perspective
– Alexandre Kukhianidze
11 Abkhazia and the Preparations for the Sochi Games
– Revaz Tchantouria
12 Disputed Frontiers: Abkhazia in Russia's Sochi 2014 Project
– Helena Rytövuouri-Apunen


Sergei Akopov, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. St Petersburg
Karin Book, Sport Sciences, Malmö University.
Lars Funch Hansen, Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, Copenhagen Univ. and Caucasus Studies, Malmö University.
Jakob Hedenskog, Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI). 
Uliana Hellberg, National Univ. of Kyiv-Mohyla Acad. and Kuras Inst. of Political and Ethnic Studies, Ukraine. 
Kutte Jönsson, Sport Sciences, Malmö University. 
Alexandre Kukhianidze, Tbilisi State University and Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, Georgia. 
Andrei Makarychev, University of Tartu, Estonia. 
Emil Persson, Political Science, Lund University and Malmö University, 
Bo Petersson, Global Politic Studies, Malmö University
Helena Rytövuori-Apunen, Tampere Peace Research Institute (TAPRI), University of Tampere, Finland. 
Raymond Taras, Political Science at Tulane University, New Orleans. 
Revaz Tchantouria, Caucasus Studies, Malmö University. 
Karina Vamling, Caucasus Studies, Malmö University.
Vitalii Volkov, The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Russia.

Last updated by Sarah Stancs