Working Paper, NUPI

From Internationalization of Terrorism to the Internationalization of Anti-terrorism : The Role of the Summer Olympic Games

Published: 1 Jul 2016

The academic literature on international relations and international sports studies has long ignored the linkages between sports and international relations. The present contribution seeks to remedy this shortcoming in the literature on international relations and international sports studies, focusing on the relationship between terrorism, anti-terrorism and the Summer Olympic Games, and examining the role of terrorism and anticipated terrorist actions in the organization of the Olympic Games. In this article we show that the anti-terrorism measures undertaken before, during and after the Olympic Games since 1972 have gone from failure to success. The development of anti-terrorism measures has resulted in Olympic Games that have been held without terrorist attacks aimed at political change. Failures in previous Games have been evaluated and have served to promote new developments in the fight against terrorism in later Games. The Munich disaster alerted everyone to the importance of Olympic security; since then, the Olympic Games have become the standard-setter for national organization and international cooperation on anti-terrorism in society in general.