Dr Mike Duignan

Head of Department and Reader in Events
+44 (0)1483 686339
38 AP 02
Student feedback & consultation hours: Tues & Wed 3-5pm (by appointment - email Mike for 1-1 slot)

Academic and research departments

School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.


Mike is Head of Department and Reader in Events at the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey, and he is the Director of a new university research 'Observatory for Human Rights and Major Events' (HaRM).

As of Summer 2021, Mike will be the new Editor-in-Chief of the leading academic journal in events: Event Management.

Visit Mike's vlog for a detailed overview of his research and teaching work: www.MichaelDuignan.uk

Research focus

Mike's work examines human and community rights issues in the planning and staging of large scale sporting events and related visitor economy and tourism development.

His work is focused around three research themes: 

Theme 1: Urban regeneration and development, critically examining how urban neighbourhoods (particularly socio-economically deprived districts) and local small business communities are impacted, disrupted and displaced in the lead up, live staging and legacy periods. 

Theme 2: Visitor economy and experiences, specifically how and why visitors flow, engage and consume across the host city and beyond 'event zones' (e.g. venues, live sites, fan parks etc). This work specifically look at urban neighbourhoods located adjacent to event 'zones' yet often find themselves unable to leverage visitor economy benefits. Mike explains why by drawing on supply and demand side factors: 1) organisational factors (i.e. how managers spatially and regulatorily reconfigure the city), and 2) behavioural factors (i.e. how and why visitors are (or are not) motivated to flow, engage and consume beyond 'event zones').

As part of this work, Mike look at the ways communities can pro-actively overcome these challenges by 1) engaging in 'communal resistance' to oppose determined conditions, 2) deploying creative entrepreneurial tactics to lever the visitor economy, 3) to develop initiatives to promote 'New Urban Tourism' to better connect hosts and guests together and encourage 'off the beaten track' tourism beyond tourist bubbles and event zones. 

Theme 3: Human trafficking and how human exploitation intensifies in the periods in and around live staging large scale events. This nascent work seeks to raise awareness of the problem and signs of human trafficking by educating in-bound international tourists, domestic visitors, and working with key stakeholders across the host community and tourism industry.

Most of Mike's work focuses on large scale events like the Olympics and the countries, cities, and communities targeted to host. To date, Mike’s field work spans across London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, and regional sporting and cultural events (e.g. food and light festivals to regional marathons). 

Mike's work is published across internationally recognised journals in his field (e.g. Tourism Management, Annals of Tourism Research) - a full list of his research papers are available on the 'Publications' tab. Conceptually, Mike's work primarily draws on theories, concepts and ideas across management, organisational, and development studies.

Committed to supporting colleagues' research, Mike holds various editorial positions in international events and tourism journals. He is the Deputy Editor of Annals of Leisure Research, and sits on the Editorial Board for Leisure Studies, International Journal of Festival and Event Management, and Event Management journal. Furthermore, Mike sits on the Editorial Board and is the Social Media Editor for both Annals of Tourism Research, and, Annals of Tourism Research Empirical Insights (@AnnTourRes).

Public, policy and practitioner engagement

Mike frequently works with policy makers and industry practitioners as part of his commitment to social and economic research impact and public engagement. As part of this, his work regularly features across international TV, radio and print media (e.g. The Guardian, BBC, ABC), and Mike often works closely with global organisations like the International Olympic Committee and regional events organisations as part of the research production process and/or dissemination of findings and recommendations. His research has been funded by international organisations (e.g. European Union, International Olympic Committee), informed numerous global policy reports (e.g. United Nations World Tourism Organisation), and Mike is part of a network of academic policy advisors for the Centre for Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge (UK).  

Host of 'InsideEvents' - a new international podcast for 2020-2021

During COVID-19 lockdown, Mike hosted a new international podcast entitled: ‘Inside Events’ - speaking with authors of high quality research papers and projects in the field of events to discuss the detail and significance of their work, as well as how they tackle and answer some of the big issues facing events today. The podcast delves into real-world research problems, the “so what” factor, theoretical quandaries, philosophical questions, managerial and policy implications, future trends et cetera. The podcast will continue into 2021 and provides a set of research and learning resources for scholars, students and practitioners to use around the world. 

Click here for a full list of published and scheduled podcasts for 2020-21: https://michaelduignan.uk/2020/06/17/events-a-new-international-podcast/

Previous academic and industry experience - a brief overview

Before joining Surrey, Mike was a Senior Lecturer in Events Management and formerly Programme Director of the MSc International Events Management and MSc Sport Management at Coventry Business School, Coventry University, UK. Before Coventry, Mike was a Senior Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK. He has held visiting positions at Pace University (New York, US), Berlin School of Economics and Law (Berlin, Germany), and Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan). Mike is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with a 10+ years teaching experience at bachelor, masters, MBA and doctoral level.

Before starting his PhD in 2012, Mike was a project manager at Research Councils UK Government funded organisation: ‘Vitae’ where he was responsible for managing the UK’s researcher development programme, including the ‘Researcher Development Framework’ and ‘GRADSchool’ events. Throughout this role and since, Mike has managed and/or supported the delivery of over 80 events, conferences, and festivals across education, sporting and cultural sectors, managing events in an eclectic range of contexts – from internationally renowned venues like the British Library, public squares and parks, to university institutions across the UK.

Get in touch - Twitter and vlog

You can follow Mike on Twitter @michaelbduignan, and, visit www.MichaelDuignan.uk for a full overview of Mike's research and teaching work to date. 

My publications


Duignan, M.B. (2021). Leveraging Tokyo 2020 to Re-Image Japan and the Olympic City, Post-Fukushima. Journal of Destination Marketing and Management, forthcoming.

Duignan, M.B. (2021). Utilising Field Theory to Examine Mega-Event Led Development. Event Management, forthcoming.

Duignan, M.B., and Chalip, L. (2021). Guest Editorial: Special Issue on “Human Rights at the Olympics, Mega- and Major-Events.Event Management, forthcoming.

Duignan, M.B., and Pappalepore, I. (2021). How do Olympic cities strategically leverage New Urban Tourism? Evidence from Tokyo. Tourism Geographies, forthcoming.

Duignan, M.B., Pappalepore, I., Smith, A., and Ivanescu, Y. (2021). Tourists’ Experience of Mega-Event Cities: Rio’s Olympic Double Bubbles. Annals of Leisure Research, forthcoming.

Walsh, L., Down, S., and Duignan, M.B. (2021). Regulatory Informality Across Olympic Event Zones. Event Management, forthcoming.

Duignan, M.B., Down, S., and O’Brien, D. (2020). Entrepreneurial Leveraging in Liminoidal Olympic Transit Zones. Annals of Tourism Research.

Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray. (2020). Guest Editorial: Special Issue on “Events, Public Spaces, and Mobility”. Annals of Leisure Research, forthcoming.

Duignan, M.B., Pappalepore, I., and Everett, S. (2019). The ‘Summer of Discontent’: Exclusion and Communal Resistance at the London 2012 Games. Tourism Management.

Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray, D. (2019). Disorganised host community touristic-event spaces: Revealing Rio’s fault lines at the 2016 Olympic Games. Leisure Studies.

Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray, D. (2019). Walking Methodologies, Digital Platforms and the Interrogation of Olympic Spaces: The ‘#RioZones-Approach’. Tourism Geographies.

Duignan, M.B., and Pappalepore, I. (2019). Visitor (Im)Mobility, Leisure Consumption and Mega-Event Impact: The Territorialisation of Greenwich and Small Business Exclusion at the London 2012 Olympics. Leisure Studies.

McGillivray, D., Duignan, M.B., and Mielke, E. (2019). Mega sport events and spatial management: Zoning space across Rio’s 2016 Olympic city. Annals of Leisure Research.

Cade, N., Everett, S., and Duignan, M.B. (2019). Leveraging Digital and Physical Spaces to ‘De-Risk’ and Access Rio’s Favela Communities. Tourism Geographies.

Kirby, S., and Duignan, M.B. (2019). Searching for Sites of Liminality in “Giga” Events: Developing a Conceptual Framework. Routledge, book chapter.

Duignan, M.B. (2019). London’s Olympic-Urban Legacy: Small Business Displacement, ‘Clone Town’ Effect and the Production of ‘Urban Blandscapes’. Journal of Place Management and Development.

Kirby, S., Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray, D (2018). Mega-Sport Events, Micro and Small Business Leveraging: Introducing the “MSE-MSB Leverage Model”. Event Management.

Duignan, M.B., Kirby, S., O’Brien, D., and Everett, S. (2018). From ‘Clone Towns’ to ‘Slow Towns’: Examining Festival Legacies. Journal of Place Management and Development.

Duignan, M.B., Everett, S., Walsh, L., and Cade, N (2017). Leveraging Physical and Digital Liminoidal Spaces: The Case of #EATCambridge festival. Tourism Geographies.

Duignan, M.B., and Wilbert, C (2017). Embedding Slow Tourism and the ‘Slow Phases’ Framework: The Case of Cambridge, UK. In: Clancy, M. 2017. Eds. Slow Tourism, Food and Cities: Pace and the Search for the ‘Good Life’. London: Routledge.

Pappalepore, I., and Duignan, M.B (2016). The London 2012 Cultural Programme: A Consideration of Olympic Impacts and Legacies for Small Creative Organisations in East London. Tourism Management.