The Beijing Olympics and the Art of Nation-State Maintenance

Jeroen De Kloet, Pak Lei Gladys Chong, Wei Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


This article maps out how different actors are involved in the promotion and mediation of the Olympics. It looks at the roles of, first, the nation-state, through an analysis of the promotional materials; second, the art world and global companies, through an analysis of the touring exhibition “Sport in Art” and the Beijing art district 798; and third, the Western press and activists, through a brief analysis of the critique of the Games in the Netherlands and the Chinese response to that critique. Our analysis shows that the imageries promoting the Games are never fully under control of their producers. The Beijing Olympics, we argue, should be perceived as a field of contestation, in which conflicting discourses, constituted by different regimes of truth produced by distinct interest groups, vie for global attention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-35
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Current Chinese Affairs
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Beijing Olympics
  • China
  • Nationalism


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