Seminar Series

Olympic Games in Paris : What sort of urban transformation for whom ?

Wednesday, 5 July 2023 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
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  • Patrick LE GALÈS Patrick Le Galès is CNRS (National Scientific Research Centre) Research Professor of Sociology, Politics and urban studies at Sciences Po, Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics. Fellow of the British Academy (FBA). Visiting professor at Waseda University in Tokyo.
  • Sawako SHIRAHASE Director of TCJS

In most developed large metropolises, housing price increases have led to more inequalities and spatial segregation. The governments of those metropolises are under pressure to deal with these issues through urban development projects and housing construction, while promoting economic competition to attract people and capital. On top of this, the climate crisis is defining a new set of policy priorities with different social consequences. As the most popular mega event, the Olympic Games reflect those tensions and contradictions. The paper will present the case of Paris 2024, contrasting the goals to combine the event with social urban renovation projects and sustainable development. It will stress the political dynamics of the state elites, left wing municipalities, business interests and protest movements. As many analysts of the Tokyo Olympics tend to emphasise the triumph of “unrestrained capital without sustainable principles” (Aramara, 2023), the paper will conclude by speculating on the social consequences of the Paris Olympics and a call for more comparison.


Patrick Le Galès is CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research) Research Professor of Politics, sociology, and urban studies at Sciences Po Paris, Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics. He is a Fellow of the British Academy. He was the founding Dean of Sciences Po Urban School (2015-2022), the president of (SASE) Society for the Advancement of Socio Economics, the editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research and current co editor of the European Journal of Sociology/Archives Européennes de Sociologie. In the spring of 2023, he is a visiting professor at the University of Waseda
His work deals with comparative public policy (housing, transport), state restructuring, comparative urban governance of large metropolis, mobility and urban class making, political economy. He is currently working on the sociology of global cities.
Recent Publications include : Reconfigurating European States in Crisis (with D.King, OUP, 2017); Que se Gobierna ? El caso de la ciudad de Mexico, (with V.Ugalde, Colejio de Mexico, 2018) Gouverner la métropole parisienne. État, conflits, institutions, réseaux (Presses de Sciences Po. 2020) ; “High priced metropolis as generators of inequality, a comparison between Paris, London, New York and San Francisco”, (with P.Pierson, Daedalus, 2019); « Work in London, love in Paris: middle class mobility over the Channel Tunnel», Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, (with C.Barwick, 2020), « The rise of local politics, a global review », in Annual Review of Political Science, (vol 24, 2021). The Routledge Handbook of Comparative Global Urban Studies (edited with J.Robinson) will appear in September 2023.