From glossy paper to the real world: security and surveillance at the FIFA World Cup 2014


Dennis Pauschinger

The Brazilian World Cup organizers tried very hard to guarantee merchandising partners in Rio de Janeiro as much space as possible to spread the message of consumption goods on glossy paper all over the city. And they mostly succeeded. In every corner the right type of beer smiled at you, suggesting rising together into a shimmering and beautiful world. The major sport sponsor shouted from every corner: all in or nothing! And indeed, the World Cup was all in and not nothing.
As recently seen in London or in Brazil, the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup are not just about sports (Matheson & Baade, 2004, p.1095; Armstrong et al., 2011, p.3169). The preparations involve a wide range of interests, mostly of economic background. In neo-liberal logic, these interests have to be protected and defended against possible security lacks (Samatas, 2011, p.3348). Since the terrorist attacks on 9/11 the securitisation of Sport Mega Events (SMEs) has drastically augmented (Coaffee et al., 2011, p.3311). The FIFA and the IOC developed new security governance and consider its application as a pre-condition for countries to host the games (Eick, 2011a, p.3338).
The main preoccupation of SME organisers is how to secure the World Cup finals and the Olympic Games and guarantee sponsors and partners their high incomes through branding and image improvements (Bennett & Haggarty, 2011, p.7). To realise such goals, there has been the introduction of the newest surveillance-technologies and the operation of the military during the last SMEs, shown by studies of Klauser (2012) analysing the World Cup 2006 in Germany and the EURO in Switzerland and Austria 2008 (p.1049). He denotes the security policies as “spatial bounded logics of security and surveillance strategies” (Klauser, 2008, p.61). These logics are the engine of the various actors such as the FIFA and the IOC to establish a standard model of permanent and total security (Coaffee et al., 2011, p.3323) and encourage the host country to implement security measures to a longer extend than just for the duration of the actual sport spectacle.
There are two principles identified that drive these security demands: first, to introduce neo-liberal policies (Samatas, 2011, p.3348) and to literally sell the product sport (Eick, 2011, p.3332); and second, to use the games as a strong vehicle to expand in new markets and to provide, sell, and post the footprint of the newest security and surveillance technologies (Boyle, 2011, p.182). Therefore, Klauser and Giulianotti (2011) call the SMEs nomads of security, demonstrating their character of migration from one country to another (p.3161). These security measures puts the civil liberties in jeopardy (Bernhard and Martin 2011, p.31), lead to a militarisation of the public security (Bennett & Haggarty, 2011, p.2), and are more generally called the “security legacy of the games” (Taylor & Toohey, 2011, p.3262). Again, it is Guilianotti and Klauser (2010) who identify the three main problems in the study of SMEs: first, an unbalanced equilibrium from SMEs in the global North towards the global South; second, event specific risks and strategies; and third, security legacies that follow from SMEs (p.51). Cornelissen (2011) analysis the meeting between global security agendas of SMEs and the local circumstances of developing countries, saying that the SMEs receive a “glocal” character: the mixture of global security demands and local circumstances (p.3224). Further she shows that for host countries like South Africa, the SME reveal a dual function. On the one hand it has to match global security requirements and on the other hand, the government wants to use the SME for their own state building efforts (Cornelissen, 2011, p.3229).
Brazil has subjugated itself to this global security regime too. But the country struggles since the transition from military dictatorship to democracy in the 80s with dramatic public security problems in the field of the police, the justice system, and the penitentiary sector (Zaluar, 2004, p.141). According to the Brazilian sociologist Misse (2006), the violence problems in Brazil are connected to cultural conditions. Public goods such as civil rights and security are trafficked in illegal markets. This turns them into “political commodities”, used by public employees like the police, serving a private purpose (p.203). The Brazilian government consequently fails to provide security and reacts with populist policies (Misse, 2006, p.88). Armed assaults and homicides, drug traffic, corruption, and organised crime lead to the definition of a so-called “ill public security” (Soares 2006, p.11). Brazil’s society and people’s everyday life is branded by the shadows of fear of violence (Caldeira, 2000, p.10; Chevigny, 2003, p.83; Koonings& Kruijt, 2004, p.7). The problem goes further than that: the Brazilian state itself is involved in weakening the already feeble public security. The exemplary case is the militia operations in Rio de Janeiro (Cano & Duarte, 2012, p.132) and the latest prisons of several Rio de Janeiro Military Police officials.
Even if the Security and Surveillance Studies with Cornelissen already try to identify such problems, there is a lack in research that analysis the deeper relationship between the SMEs and its global security package, and the effects on local circumstances in high-crime societies like Brazil. Without taking in consideration the historical and cultural dimensions of local conditions, research on how the global security of SMEs affects the Brazilian public security seems almost impossible and fruitless.
It is here where this paper draws attention with the question: what happens if the global security agenda associated with SMEs comes into an environment such as the Brazilian security dynamics? Graham’s (2011) respected theory of the “New Military Urbanism” which implicates a global neo-liberal colonisation of security that turns cities and its citizens into military threats and targets (p.79) is nothing new in Brazil. In Rio de Janeiro, the Military Urbanism is already reality, materialised by the long tradition of military occupation of whole neighbourhoods and lately seen again in the Maré Complex just before the World Cup started. Klauser’s (2008) argument that the World Cup and the SMEs in general are both, “the product and the producer of a broader set of developments in security politics” (p.62) fits to describe the public security policies preparing the SMEs in Brazil. Gaffney’s (2010) research on the changing discourse of city officials regarding SMEs in Rio de Janeiro, reveals a variety of important facts indicating that the 2007 Pan American Games already left Rio de Janeiro a financial and a militarised security legacy (p.17). But what happened, and with which consequences during the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro?
In this paper, drawing upon six months of fieldwork in Rio de Janeiro within different settings of both private and state security forces, I want to dive into three levels of World Cup security:
First, the governmental level: what kind of security effort and governance has been developed to secure the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro? As indicated in the literature, each SME develops a `total security’ plan that seeks to secure the event sides in isolated, highly surveilled and militarised zones. Brazil’s complex three level governmental structure, the federal, the state and the municipality made the security plan unique. Especially, integrating all three governmental hierarchies has reached a never seen effort of integration in some isolated environments.
Second, the technological level: what role has surveillance and other security technologies played in the World Cup security plan? Principally the Integrated Command and Control Centres (CICC), newly inaugurated in every host city, have raised authority’s hopes to reach the next level of control over Brazilian cities during and after the World Cup. The overall and publicly declared success of the World Cup security concept, enrooted in surveillance technology and integration has now advanced as the new federal government strategy to address Brazil’s countrywide public security crisis. Way before the tournament these integrative surveillance and security models have been on the official agenda already (Cardoso, 2013, p.128–129).
Third, on the ground operational level: has the concept of total security, surveillance, militarisation and integration of forces had a top-down effect on the actuation of policewomen and men working on the ground? During the World Cup a small unit of the Civil Police has operated in the so-called “mobile police department” in the FIFA security circle to serve the public attending the Maracanã stadia, located just beside the mobile CICC and the mobile control centres of the Military Police. The omnipresence of the different policing units (Military Police, Civil Police, Municipally Guards), the Armed Forces and private security could not provide total security and has presented a variety of lacks that puts the whole security spectacle into question. A similar picture could be observed in the Copacabana neighbourhood, hosting the FIFA Fan Fest, the FIFA Family and varies of the major international broadcasting companies and their live studios.
Following these three moments of World Cup security it is highly questionable that SME global security requirements present solutions for day-to-day security problems in high-crime societies. The governmental argumentation to implement the CICCs and the surveillance technologies as permanent security models in every state capital to fight the everyday crime problems draws upon an imagination of static security realities in the tradition of rational choice theories of crime and thus, situational crime prevention (SCP). This said I want to argue that static models of crime prevention have difficulties dealing with the complexity of human creativity in the complicated Rio de Janeiro security scenario. This paper suggests that there should be a cultural criminological (Ferrell et al., 2008) regard on the local security dynamics to be able to understand its complexities. Without a discussion of profound changes in structure and culture of the security forces, there may not be any long-term solutions for the Brazilian public security in crisis.
The cultural understanding of Brazilian violence and security complexities demonstrate that static models of total security are beautiful on glossy paper in FIFA and IOC advertising catalogues, but looses its glitter opening the pages of the real world.

Keywords: mega events, police, security, surveillance, technology.