Featured news

Sky News debate with Dr Mike Duignan & Dr Rachel Pistol moderated by Sir Trevor Phillips (2022)


Mike appointed Editor-in-Chief of Event Management journal

Event Management is the internationally leading peer-reviewed journal for the study and analysis of events and festivals, meeting the research and educational needs of this rapidly growing industry for more than 20 years. Read more: https://cognizantcommunication.com/publication/event-management/#tab-id-2.


“Events as Catalysts for Communal Resistance to Overtourism” (Duignan, Everett & McCabe, 2022 – Annals of Tourism Research)

The negative impacts of tourism, often associated with overtourism, can lead to resistance by local stakeholders. This study focuses on collective resistance across Japan in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, during a period of exponential growth in tourism that produced disruption and fear, and led to a rise in tourismophobia. We conceptualise negative reactions through Castells’ theory of the network society. Utilising qualitative data, we argue that Japan’s national tourism growth strategy represented a state-imposed legitimising identity, leading to communal resistance sentiment and tactics across Japan and Tokyo. We illustrate how events act as catalysts for opposition against tourism development and how resistance identities can produce a new project and counter-legitimising identity tourism planners should take seriously. Article link and read more: https://michaelduignan.uk/publications/ and listen to the authors’ 140 second overview video below.


Key note on ‘Bridging sports, tourism & leisure studies through the concept & practice of field configuring events”, European Association for Sport Management (EASM), September 2022.

EASM2022 – Mike Duignan keynote 30 min introduction
EASM2022 – Mike Duignan keynote 4 min teaser

Global campaign with It’s a Penalty at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

The Observatory for Human Rights and Major Events with global charity It’s a Penalty delivered a global international educational campaign to tackle human trafficking in major event cities throughout the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, including airports, airplanes, venues, Tokyo underground to Shibuya crossing. Read more: https://itsapenalty.org/tokyogames/.


Foregrounding a Rights-Based Agenda for Sports Events (Symposium: 20 June, 2022)

If you are interested in major events, critical event students and human rights – join us for this free online event hosted by the CCSE at University of the West of Scotland and supported by all us partners listed underneath as part of an EU Marie Curie Actions project called EventRights (www.EventRights.net). Full programme below includes speakers from FIFA, It’s a Penalty to UNICEF. Mike will be representing the Observatory for Human Rights and Major Events and speaking on a panel entitled: “Sport Events, Human Trafficking and Sex Work” with Philippa King (Director), (It’s a Penalty) and Dr Amanda De Lisio, (York University).


Event Strategy and Impact Evaluation System

Utilising a 140+ key performance indicator, strategic planning and reporting system, Mike offers 1-1 strategic & impact evaluation consultancy for events and festivals of all shapes and sizes to help event owners & organisers realise the power and potential of their events for social & economic good. The system draws on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals & is based on Mike’s decade plus research & consultancy work. Read more: https://michaelduignan.uk/events-consultancy/.


Observatory for Human Rights and Major Events (HaRM) at the University of Surrey launches, Jan 2021.

HaRM is the UK’s official academic ‘Olympic Studies Centre’ supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and British Olympic Association (Team GB). We work with those involved in the planning and staging of major events to advance inclusivity, sustainability and human rights-based agendas related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We take a human-centred, critical and solutions-focused approach that balances social outcomes, pro-environmental objectives, and economic performance.


“Banning Russia from world events will help alienate Putin” (Duignan, 2022 – The Conversation)

“…having previously enjoyed the soft power benefits that sport and other events can bring, it is encouraging to the rest of the world to see those powers united – and turned against him.” Read more: https://theconversation.com/banning-russia-from-world-events-will-help-to-alienate-putin-178255.


InsideEvents podcast

InsideEvents is an international podcast series hosted by Dr Mike Duignan delving into contemporary and research debates across the study and practice of events. It is intended to inform a hybrid and research informed approach to learning and teaching, with 17000+ downloads to date (June 2022). Below, Mike introduces the series and the value of listening for students and scholars, policy makers to practitioners.


Social Justice in Events Series by the Observatory for Human Rights and Major Events at the University of Surrey and University of Central Florida (2022)

The ‘Social Justice in Events’ talk series (2022) is a critical talk series examining human rights issues in the planning and delivery of major events. Over 140 people attended across four talks, x2 led by the Observatory for Human Rights and Major Events (HaRM) and x2 led by UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management.