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The Beijing Olympiad, China's Human Rights Record and Western Orientalism

The Beijing Olympiad: The Political Economy of a Sporting Mega-Event, Paul Close, David Askew, Xu Xin.
Routledge, 2006, ISBN-13: 978-0415357012

There are grounds for assuming that the Beijing Olympiad may act as a catalyst in the re-alignment process within the Global Political Economy and, not unconnectedly, will provide a spur to important changes inside Chinese society itself, not least in the area of human rights.

After all, the Olympiad will be a convergence point, or focal event, for a cluster of major developments at and between the local, regional and global levels of social life.

The developments involved include the deepening institutionalization of Olympism at the global level; the global spread of the Western cultural account around the doctrine of individualism; the advance of market capitalism and liberal democracy on the global plane; the progress of globalization in conjunction with the consolidation of global society; and the rise of China as a regional and global political economy player and superpower.

It is because of the way in which the Beijing Olympiad will draw together in a highly concentrated, dense and intense fashion these developments that the 2008 Games are likely to be not merely another sporting mega-event, but moreover the greatest ever mega-event, at least for the time being, with unprecedented internal and external social, economic, political and cultural consequences.

From an Introduction by Paul Close.

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