Earlier last week, it was a great pleasure to receive the final acceptance letter from the special features editor of the Urban Geography journal with regard to a proposal to pursue a special issue on Accumulation, State Legitimacy and Cities of Spectacle in ‘Emerging’ Economies. I will be guest editing this with Andy Thornley in my department. The special issue aims to bring together original research papers to examine  mega-events in some of the major emerging economies that have hosted, or are hosting, major international mega-events. The special issue is one of the endeavours that emanate from the earlier session organisation at the RGS-IBG annual conference in the summer of 2013.

I am very happy to see the great line-up of colleagues from around the world. These include Anne-Marie Broudehoux (University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada), Elena Trubina (Ural Federation University, Russia), Xun Li, Yi Liu and Jigang Bao (Sun Yat-sen University, China) and Astrid Wood (University College London, UK), who will be discussing the experiences of Rio de Janeiro, Sochi, Guangzhou and Cape Town respectively.

In order to build upon existing scholarship discussing the role of mega-events as societal spectacles, contributors are purposefully brought together to create a dialogue about the use of mega-events as a means to address both accumulation needs and social stability. Consideration is given to the historicity of urban development and political economic contexts within each host nation. Contributors are asked to pay attention in particular to the issues of state legitimacy and governance in their emerging country context and to tease out differences with more developed countries.

Papers are aimed to be submitted to the journal for peer review from around May 2014. More updates to follow as progress is made.