'Surfing a wave of change': a critical appraisal of the London 2012 cultural programme

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10 Citations (Scopus)


This article takes as its focus an overlooked element of the Olympic Games the Cultural Olympiad (and associated cultural programme) and offers a critical commentary upon its effectiveness in reaching into local settings to generate empowered communities. The article focuses on a case study of one Scottish project funded through the London 2012 Olympic Games' cultural programme and draws on participant observation, elite interviews and policy statements for its empirical foundation. The authors conclude that the complexity of cultural programming around the London 2012 Olympic Games contributes to a dissonance between the priorities of local people within a Scottish urban location and the professed ambitions of the Games organisers. Whilst Olympic values are shared across geographical boundaries, the pragmatic policy needs at the local level take precedence when resources for cultural development become available.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-137
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • Cultural olympiad
  • Cultural programme
  • Olympic games
  • London 2012
  • Community empowerment
  • Volunteering


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