Lecturer’s new book examines security at sports mega-events amid the pandemic



Adapting to the new reality of sporting and cultural events in the era of Covid-19

Jan Ludvigsen Web banner 835 x 500

International Relations and Politics with Sociology Lecturer, Dr Jan Ludvigsen, shared insights from his book this week with the LJMU community ahead of its release on Friday 8 April.

Colleagues and students gathered at the John Foster building, and via Zoom, to celebrate the book Sport Mega-Events, Security and Covid-19: Securing the Football World and to reflect on the key challenges related to the securitization of large-scale sporting events in a pandemic age.

Dr Ludvigsen uses the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship as an example study with its unique delivery across multiple countries in the eye of the Covid-19 storm.

Book gained 'accidental originality' 

Drawn partly from his PhD thesis, Dr Ludvigsen had to restructure his research when the football tournament was postponed to 2021. As a result, his book gained accidental originality as his focus turned to health as well as security.

He hopes that fellow researchers and practitioners can learn from his findings as the world recovers from the pandemic and events are hosted with new security and safety concerns in mind.

“In a way, the book demonstrates how sport mega-events are spaces through which we can better understand more general security developments and trends,” Dr Ludvigsen said.

“It also gives an insight into how Euro 2020, as one of the first mega-events staged during the pandemic, became somewhat of a test event for new health, safety and security practices in the wider reopening of societies post-lockdown. Hopefully the book can assist researchers and practitioners trying to adapt to the new reality of sporting and cultural events in the era of Covid-19”.  

‘Rising star’

Fellow colleagues from the School of Humanities and Social Science have commended the former LJMU student now turned lecturer as a ‘rising star’ in the sociology and politics of sport circuit. Professor Pete Millward commented that the book is ‘hugely significant’.

“We are delighted to see Jan publish this hugely significant book. Jan originally joined the department as an undergraduate BA in Sociology almost a decade ago, graduating with a first-class degree. His dissertation was of such outstanding quality that we encouraged him to write it up as a journal article and as a result of this he was recognised as a rising star in the sociology and politics of sport circuit with an all paid for invitation to an international conference at Oxford University in 2018.”

Timely and important book

Professor Millward added: “Since then, he has completed his PhD with us, and after Sport Mega-events, Security and Covid-19 has a further two books which will also be published in 2022. He has moved from an undergraduate, to a postgraduate, to an international trailblazer. I speak for the whole School in saying we couldn’t be more delighted with his development, crowned by this timely and important book.”   

Pick up the fascinating read in hardback or as an eBook, available through Routledge. The LJMU community will soon be able to access the book through library services.

Find out more about the School of Humanities and Social Science at LJMU.

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