Political processes in the nomination of the 2000 sydney organizing committee of the olympic games board members

Por: Dimitris Gargalianos e Stylianos Daskalakis.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Introduction

In September 1993, the members of the International Olympic Committee awarded the organization of 2000 Olympic Games to Sydney. Two months later the Sydney Organizing Committee of Olympic Games (SOCOG) was established, in order to plan, organize and stage the Games. Since then, another political party rose into power in the State of New South Wales (NSW), SOCOG’s foundation law changed some times, and seventeen (17) Board Members were replaced.
The purpose of this study was to examine the political processes developed by interest groups towards the nomination of Board Members and the alliances those groups formulated in order to achieve their goals. Foucault’s theory (1979), which suggests that persons alone are not agents but just an expression of power and authority, was adopted along with Crick’s (1964) definition of politics (a reconciling activity of opposing interests). No previous work has been done on this issue.

Methods

The methodology used included research in SOCOG’s archives, study of secondary data, as well as in-depth interviews with four (4) selected Board Members, who had an important role in the staging of the Games. In order to increase the objectivity of the data one (1) in-depth interview with the director of a high circulation newspaper in Sydney responsible for Olympic issues but not a Board Member was conducted.

Results / Conclusion

It was revealed that all interest groups tried to exercise power over other interest groups. The most powerful group was proved to be the Labor Government of the NSW, which coordinated the Games under the philosophy and guidance of the Right Wing Sector of the Labor Party, in cooperation with the Australian Olympic Committee.

References

[1]. Bacharach, S. & Lawler, E. (1980). Power and politics in organizations: The social psychology of conflict, coalitions, and bargaining. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.
[2]. Crick, B. (1964). In defence of politics. Penguin, Harmondsworth.
[3]. Dyrberg, T.B. (1997). The circular structure of power. Verso, London.
[4]. Espy, R. (1979). The politics of the Olympic Games. University of California Press, Berkeley, California.
[5]. Foucault, M. (ed.) (1979). Power, truth, strategy. Feral Publications, Sydney.
[6]. Houlihan, B. (1994). Sport and international politics. Harvester Wheatsheaf, Hemel Hempstead, Hertforshire.
[7]. Jaensch, D. (1983). The Australian Party System. George Allen & Unwin, North Sydney.
[8]. Slack, T. (1997). Understanding sport organizations: The application of organization theory. Human Kinetics, Champaign.
[9]. Smart, B. (1988). Michel Foucault. 2nd ed, Routledge, New York.

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