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The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil: Mega-event or Potential Disaster?
The proposed research aims to analyze the 2014 Brazil FIFA World Cup (FWC) from a processual social science perspective. The preparation, design, execution, reception and immediate impacts of the event will be documented while giving special attention to the organizational, material, symbolic and aesthetic aspects of the FWC. Our theoretical framework critiques economic analyses that see the FWC as an investment for the reason that benefits or costs simply cannot be foreseen (Arlei e Ruben 2013). It also takes distance from reductionist and catastrophic analyses that view the coming FWC as a transnational mega-event imposed on the Brazilian population, to the exclusive benefit of (transnational) economic elites. Such analyses presume the existence of a dominant and consistent master design that can be implemented without problems. They obfuscate the fractures, tensions and fault- lines of the FWC, thereby creating the ideological fantasy of a post-political society of the spectacle (Swyngedouw 2012). Alternatively, we choose to see the FWC as a sequence of inter-related and associated events; an assemblage that travels, that induces multiple complementary investments and activities, generating aesthetic sensibilities, and harboring high potentials for political mobilization. We conceive the FWC both as a transnational process involving the circulation of images, organizational designs, people and capital, and as a form of governmentality involving a diversity of institutions (regional, national and transnational) that deploy and experiment with technologies of control, surveillance, coordination, management, and participation. Such forms of governmentality are also shaped by socio-symbolic and affective and aesthetic processes through which ‘spectators’ re-interpret and re-define the meanings of the event (Ranciere 2000). The following lines of research are envisaged: 1. The cultural production and reception of the spectacle, 2. The material organization, design and operationalization of the FWC, 3. Contestations and Mobilizations, 4. The transnational construction of ‘Brazilian-ness through the FWC.