This chapter addresses diﬀerent dimensions of governmentality, or practices of governance, as exempliﬁed by two cases of sports mega-events that took place in Ukraine and Russia approximately at the same time. I particularly focus on the 2012 European Football Championship in Lviv (Euro 2012) and the 2013 World Student Games in Kazan (the Universiade 2013).1 Comparisons between them can be theoretically fruitful for understanding some challenges the two countries faced after the eruption of the Ukraine-Russia crisis in 2014. At a ﬁrst glance, the strategies of urban development implemented by Lviv
and Kazan since the late 1990s look similar. Both cities are large urban centres that occupy leading positions in their regions, and consider themselves co-makers of national identity: Lviv as the westernmost city of Ukraine and a hotbed of Ukrainianness, and Kazan as the centre of Islamic/Tatar culture in Russia. Both cities have started their engagement with the “economy of eventfulness”2 from hosting relatively small, “domestic-style” events, like the celebration of city anniversaries (Kazan’s Millennium in 2005 and Lviv’s 750 year jubilee in 2006), consequently hosting large numbers and dealing with the sheer scale of celebratory projects. Thus, Kazan has hosted the Universiade 2013, the 2015 FINAWorld Aquatic Championship, and other less visible sports and cultural events during the last ﬁve years. The city will co-host the FIFA World Football Championship in 2018. In its turn, in 2012 Lviv – along with three other Ukrainian cities and their
four Polish counterparts – co-hosted the European Football Championship, was chosen as a venue of the Euro Basket 2015, and was the 2016 European Capital of Culture. It also considered bidding for the Winter Olympic Games in 2022. However, in 2013 FIFA disqualiﬁed Lviv’s Arena stadium built for the Euro 2012 in response to Nazi and racist symbols exposed by local fans. The annexation of Crimea and the following Russia-supported military activities in Eastern Ukraine in 2014 have further ruined Lviv’s aspirations for hosting major sports events.3 The Euro Basket 2015 championship was relocated to France, Croatia, Germany and Latvia, and the city has withdrawn its Olympics application because of ﬁnancial reasons. After 2014 Russia, despite economic, political and diplomatic sanctions,4
did not lose forthcoming international tournaments. Western media feedback
on the FINAWorld Cup in Kazan in 2015 was mostly positive and benevolent, mostly due to an eﬀective local government that gained experience in hosting the 2013 Universiade and had at its disposal in 2015 a well-equipped urban and sport infrastructure that did not require serious investments. Meanwhile, the deep crisis of legitimacy which in 2015 undermined the reputation of FIFA added new food for thought not only about the applicability of models of governance practiced by global sports organizations, but also about the concept of governmentality as grounded in neoliberal approaches. The research question I am going to tackle in this chapter is how and
whether governmentality works in such projects as the Euro 2012 and the Universiade 2013, both geographically located beyond the (liberal) West. The focus on governmentality implies particular research attention to non-state and sub-state participants of technical projects aimed at transferring best practices and stimulating spill-over eﬀects. The database of my analysis mostly includes a series of in-depth interviews,
each between 30 and 60 minutes, conducted in 2012-2013 in Kazan and in 2013-2014 (June) in Lviv with practitioners: artists, managers, dancers, journalists and civil activists who participated in the lead-up to and hosting of Euro 2012 (n=25) and the Universiade 2013 (n=30). The chapter is structured in three parts. The ﬁrst one addresses current
debates on the concept of governmentality with particular attention to problematizing sports mega-events as toolkits for transferring neoliberal Western practices. The second part focuses on programmes run by international actors – UEFA and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Lviv and FISU and the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Russia in Kazan – during the preparation of the two studied tournaments. The third section discusses spill-over eﬀects of the Euro 2012 and the Universiade 2013 on urban governance and civil activities (as perceived by local managerial and cultural elites).