Hosting and Human Rights: The Summer Olympics Assignment

Hosting and Human Rights: The Summer Olympics Assignment

Hosting and Human Rights: The Summer Olympics


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Radomir Pavicevic

American College of Thessaloniki

Research 299

Midterm proposal

Hosting and Human Rights: The Summer Olympics

            The Olympic games refer to international sports events held once every four years. The inaugural Olympic games were held in 1896 in Athens, Greece. During the 21st century, summer Olympic games have been used to justify, distract and push through increased surveillance, securitization and displacement of the host city. As the Olympics is an international game, thus plays a crucial role in shaping and preserving international relations; thus, the IOC outlines guidelines about civil and human rights for the countries to follow (Abrahams & Young, 2023). The Olympic games have evolved a lot since the eighteenth century. In the twenty-first century, host countries are using games to create temporary exceptional circumstances to justify acts of securitization, surveillance and displacement. Cultural hegemony states how international countries interact based on social and cultural spheres and how it shapes their decisions.  Hosting and Human Rights: The Summer Olympics Assignment.Countries hosting international games like the Olympic games aim to publicize their social, economic and political institutions worldwide (Ross & McDougall, 2022). In the Olympic games, players and audiences come from around the world, and hosting these games is to engage them in the country’s culture and inspires them. In preparation for the Olympic games, countries violate human rights, and it has become one of the most controversial issues. According to International Ski Federation President Gian Franco Kasper, the Olympics are convenient for dictatorships (Worden, 2022). The winter Olympics was held in Beijing, and Qatar hosted the FIFA world cup. World’s two biggest sporting events are hosted by the biggest human rights abuses, which shows that human rights activists and the IOC have sidelined their commitments to human rights.

The Olympics and World Cup each host about 3 billion people worldwide, almost half of the world’s population. Moreover, this is the reason Qatar and China want to refresh their images as supportive and glamorous sporting hosts in front of the world. This is why they are sports-washing their human rights violation records. Sportswashing is familiar; it has been happening for decades and will happen unless participants and the audience realize the true face of a nation. Beijing is one of the well-known human rights abusers, but in 2008, the Olympics were hosted by Beijing and advertised as “a force for good.” Still, it featured migrant labor abuses, journalist arrests, and the repression or struggles of civil society (Worden, 2022). Qatari and Chinese authorities have spent much money on hosting the Olympic games and the world cup to win over fans.

The IOC failed to protect human rights by not punishing Chinese leaders for breaking and not fulfilling their Olympic promises. Instead, the IOC awarded Beijing with the 2022 Winter Games. Crimes against humanity are China’s gravest human rights abuses, including mass detentions, sexual abuse, torture and cultural discrimination of Turick Muslims. These criminal activities make China the worst host for an event like the Olympics, representing humanity on a huge platform. The IOC has not uttered a word to control these abuses (Worden, 2022).

In Qatar, eight stadiums, both new and renovated, will host 22 teams of the FIFA world cup. Human rights watch has documented that the world cup events have been built based on the abusive kafala labor sponsorship system, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of preventable worker deaths (Worden, 2022). It looks like a form of modern slavery. Qatar is the world’s richest nation per capita. The majority of residents in Qatar are immigrants. About 2 million migrants do not hold the power to bring complaints or raise their voices against abuse when employers control exit from the country. Employers in Qatar exploit this right by forcing laborers to work for more hours, keeping their passports and denying wages. Labor abuses cannot be reported in Qatar because of the complicated process. This analysis of sports events shows how horrible it is and proves how necessary human rights are to consider and question. The IOC and FIFA should prioritize human rights and athletes over economic and financial profit. Human rights will be at great risk if they keep covering up these violations (Worden, 2022).


Literature Review

            According to IR scholar Taylor (1986), international relations have slowly embraced sports as a controversial topic (Taylor, 1986). Allison and Monnington (2005) argue that very little progress was made over the two decades. They further conclude that the sporting dimension of international relations plays no part in education on the subject. Studies combine international politics with sports to show how countries worldwide are using sports as a frame to get the fame and trust of international countries. Having good international relations with glamorous images, countries can have the opportunity to host the Olympic games and the world cup (Allison & Monnington, 2005).

Literature also talks about the effect of hegemony at the international level, which is an order between the world economy having a dominant mode of production and distributions that penetrates the world with a positive attitude (Cox, 1987). The IOC and Olympics are getting benefits from the incorporation of hegemony into sports-related decisions. The largest and most influential countries in economics are getting the opportunity to host international sports events to strengthen their economies. Regardless of their ethical standard, the IOC is granting opportunities based on how much they will get in return. The Olympics gave the neoliberal order to the world following World War II, where there was increased American influence (Harvey, 2005). Hosting and Human Rights: The Summer Olympics Assignment

The literature argues that the IOC’s ability to prioritize and welcome new types of elites to maintain its social connections at international levels is always evident. Brohm (2009) explains that the IOC “develops an expansionist diplomacy intended to expand the Olympic empire in a double game of commercial seduction and political allegiance to international institutions (UN, G8, UNESCO, etc.), donors (IMF, World Bank) and major powers, especially emerging nations or what is now called the “BRIC” (Brazil, Russia, India, China) (Brohm, 2009, p. 79). He further argues that under such conditions, sports become politically controlled. Olympic practices, rules, values and meanings reflect American society’s values, meanings and practices, which shows that the influence of the elite countries is higher. Literature also shows that countries, where human rights violations are extreme are hosting the Olympic games and World Cups because they are economically and politically strong. Inequality, racism, oppression, and differences based on socioeconomic status all exist in American social settings, which is how these practices are being evolved in the Olympic games (Brohm, 2009).

According to the communication scholar Marvin (1981), most researchers viewed Olympics sports as a vehicle for Americanization, which is essential for the success and development of American capital at national and international levels (Marvin, 1981). Literature states that the Olympic games are considered a political-economic formation, and the level of differences between capitalist and socialist countries indicates that in the coming years, the Olympics will only represent America and its strong influence on the world (Boykoff, 2016). According to Boykoff (2016), the only way to avoid the influence of America on the Olympics and to prevent the international sports festival from being the American sports festival is to address existing policies and keep the sports event alive. Instead of representing America’s values, beliefs, meanings and practices, the Olympics should integrate the values and practices of each country representing themselves through the sports event. The active role of the IOC is also crucial in addressing these concerns because, with the action of the IOC, expected outcomes could be received (Boykoff, 2016).

Scope and Objectives

            This study focuses on the violation of human rights in the Olympic games and how countries are politicizing the original purpose of these games. This study aims to evaluate existing literature about human rights violations in the Olympic games and pose a new research study to educate readers and future researchers to speak about this issue. Millions of labourers are suffering in the world’s richest countries behind the scenes, and there is no one to give them a voice to speak up for their concerns. By collecting data from previous research about human rights violations and the type of human rights violations occurring across the world to present a positive and glamorous picture in front of the world, this research will pose recommendations for IOC and government officials to address these issues to keep the game alive. It is a hidden issue, and we do not hear the media talking about it. Thus, this study aims to uncover the controversial issue to attract solutions. Hosting and Human Rights: The Summer Olympics Assignment

Data & Methodology

            Researchers use quantitative and qualitative research techniques to collect data to support their research. Qualitative data will be collected for this research based on the selected research topic. As it is a broad-level study thus, collecting primary data would complicate the research. Thus, secondary data would be used to investigate the problem and propose the best practical solutions. This research will focus on engaging people with this sports problem and consider their opinions. By evaluating existing literature and research studies, the researcher will talk about the origin of the problem, the level of effectiveness if not addressed immediately and realistic solutions which could help to address it at national and international levels. I will perform the secondary research method and keep it qualitative to collect relevant data and evaluate it to understand and address the problem. I will limit my research on journals and research studies to about 20. These 20 studies would be evaluated in terms of which dimensions of the problem are discussed and what could be added to inform readers about the politicization of the Olympic games and how countries are contributing to shifting the purpose of the Olympic games.


















Abrahams, H. M., & Young, D. C. (2023). Olympic Games | History, Locations, & Winners | Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved February 18, 2023, from

Allison, L., and Monnington, T. (2005). “Sport, prestige, and international relations,” in The

Global Politics of Sport: The Role of Global Institutions in Sport, ed L. Alison (London: Routledge), 5–23.

Boykoff, J. (2016). Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics. London: Verso.

Brohm, J. M. (2009). L’olympisme ou la continuité d’une idéologie totalitaire. Outre-terre 21,

75–87. doi: 10.3917/oute.021.0075

Cox, R. W. (1987). Production, Power, and World Order: Social Forces in the Making of

History. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. Hosting and Human Rights: The Summer Olympics Assignment

Harvey, D. (2005). A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Doi:


Marvin, C. (1981). Avery Brundage and American participation in the 1936 Olympic Games. J.

Am. Stud.16, 81–105. doi: 10.1017/S002187580000949X

Ross, M., & McDougall, M. (2022). Hosting and Human Rights: The Summer Olympics in the Twenty-First Century. Frontier, 4.

Taylor, T. (1986). “Sport and international relations,” in Sport and Politics, ed L. Allison

(Manchester: Manchester University Press), 27–47.

Worden, M. (2022, January 5). Human Rights Abuses Will Taint the Olympics and the World Cup. It is Time to End ‘Sportswashing’ Now. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved February 18, 2023, from



Research 299: Business Research Methods (Level 5)
Midterm Exam: Spring 2023
Instructor: Dr Eirini Tsichla
For the midterm exam, each student is expected to submit a sound proposal regarding the
final project that will be submitted at the end of the semester. The proposal should be
between 1500-2000 words.
Framing the proposal: The research proposal will include an initial draft of the introductory
section which will include:
• Literature review
• Scope and objectives and
• Methodology, reviewing methods used in other similar studies and presenting the
rationale for the methodology to be used for the specific project.
• The topic must receive instructor approval before any work is done.
• Meeting time will be scheduled with each student to monitor progress on the
Evaluation Criteria
1. Selecting a research topic (20 points).
Present scope and research objectives and explain the research topic in terms of
capability and appropriateness. Highlight the relevance of your topic in today’s
business environment
2. Clarifying the research design (40 points).
1) Present possible exploratory, descriptive and explanatory research that can be
reasonably accomplished and
2) Explain the intended data collection methods, e.g., experiments, surveys,
simulations, secondary data collection and analysis, case studies/action research.
3. Producing an annotated bibliography (40 points). Hosting and Human Rights: The Summer Olympics Assignment
Look through academic journals that relate to your subject area. Identify a few
papers that did similar research as the one suggested by your topics and produce an
annotated bibliography, summarizing the findings of those papers and how they
relate to your research.
Submission guidelines
ü The report should be typed in a 12pt font, double spaced and justified.
ü A word count should also be included.
ü The file should be named after your last name as: RES299_PROPOSAL_MYLASTNAME
ü A cover page should be provided including the student’s name, student number,
course, semester and title of the assignment.
ü Please spell check your report before submission
ü Students are expected to use academic references in the report. Powerpoint slides,
blogs, student papers/theses, youtube videos or Wikipedia are not academic
ü Academic references should be provided both in-text and at the bibliography section
following Harvard Style
For more information please visit:
ü Students should submit the Proposal online through an official Turnitin submission
point on Moodle.
ü Students should submit the proposal in word format only (.docx or .doc, no pdfs) Hosting and Human Rights: The Summer Olympics Assignment