The ‘summer of discontent’: Exclusion and communal resistance at the London 2012 Olympics

Michael B. Duignan*, Ilaria Pappalepore, Sally Everett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


London 2012 promised local small businesses access to lucrative Olympic event-tourism and visitor trading opportunities. However, as urban spaces were transformed to stage live Games, many local stakeholders found themselves locked out. We focus on one ‘host’ community, Central Greenwich, who emerged negatively impacted by such conditions. 43 in-depth interviews and secondary evidence reveal that this was a community determined to resist. Few papers have extended the concept of resistance to the context of mega-events so we examine why communities resisted, and how physical tactics and creative resistance were deployed. Although efforts afforded some access for local businesses - they proved too little, too late. We develop and present a ‘tactics for resistance’ approach, a series of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ tactics businesses could use to encourage proactive, as opposed to reactive, communal resistance required to protect local interests and afford access to opportunities generated by temporary mega-event visitor economies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-367
Number of pages13
Early online date15 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Communal resistance
  • Exclusion
  • Hard and soft tactics
  • Host community
  • London 2012
  • Mega-event
  • Olympic tourism
  • Small businesses


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