London 2012: space of exception

Article on urbe’s Mega-events and the City special issue

Here’s the abstract for my contribution, entitled “London 2012: space of exception” (the article is in Spanish)

Giorgio Agamben’s theory of the state of exception, which, he argues, has become a technique of government rather than a provisional and exceptional measure, may help to understand the legal and spatial configuration of the Olympic Games. This text analyses the key documents in the legal architecture of the Olympics, and their impact in the regulation and surveillance of the economic and political space of the city. After summarising the key components of the governance of the Games, the text focuses in the configuration of exceptionality. Legitimated on the basis of necessity and threat, the regulations linked to the Games passed by the British Government effectively materialise an state of exception: a capitalist paradise in which economic activity is subject to exclusive contracts, political activity is criminalised, and where these privileges are protected by the police and military-grade security. Hence, the idea of London 2012 as a “space of exception”.

Click here to see the full table on contents:


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