Skip to main content

John Karamichas

Dr. John Karamichas - Queen's University Belfast Research Portal - Research Directory & Institutional Repository for QUB
John Karamichas

Direct phone: +44 (0)28 9097 3237

For media contact email
or call +44(0)2890 973091.

Research Interests


My research interests circumnavigate the environmental sociological imagination and focus on issues of environmental social contestation and prospects for environmental sustainability.  My latest exploration has been centred on a critical evaluation of the proclaimed improvements in the environmental capacity of Olympic Games host nations.  My most recent book, The Olympic Games and the Environment (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), employs key insights from sociological theorisation, reflexive modernisation, towards identifying indicators capable to assess the environmental legacy imbued by four successive Olympic Games (Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012).


My previous work on sport mega-events, Olympic Games, Mega-Events and Civil Societies. Globalization, Environment, Resistance (with Graeme Hayes, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), explored sports mega-events; their social, political and cultural characters; the value systems that they inscribe and draw on; the claims they make on us and the claims the organizers make for them, the spatial and ethical relationships they create; and the responses of civil societies to them.


I have also published papers on contentious politics in Southern Europe and I am currently working on capacity for environmental sustainability under austerity as well as protest mobilisations against hosting the Rio 2016 Games.


I am interested in supervising theses in the fields of protest politics, mega-events, environmental sustainability and harm.




Research Awards


January 2015 – Full cost funding to attend and participate in the Researchers Links Workshop, Sport and Social Transformation in Brazil’, supported the Newton Fund, the British Council and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo - FAPESP (2004/50504-8), Sao Paulo, Brazil, 10-13 March 2015.


April 2014 - £1,000 Research Initiatives Fund – Santander initiative ‘staff mobility’ – Brazil research visit.


May 2013 - £1,000 to participate in the QUB Delegation Brazil Visit - 16-24 May 2013


November 2010 - £2,000 ISW Inter disciplinary Sandpit on Governance and Sustainability.


June 2008 - £1,200 Internationalisation fund by SSSPSW in support of co-organizing a two-day workshop at Queen Mary, University of London – Sport Mega-Events and Civil Societies


1 November 2006 - £3,000 Academic Activism: Practicing Praxis in H.E. Curriculums: University of Birmingham [R979








Public Engagement


Interview for the programme, ‘Change of Times’ on Euradionantes:


The interview examined how the handling of the Greek situation has influenced the way in which the Greek population views the EU and the idea of European solidarity.


Other Activities


External examiner, Physical Education and Sport Studies, Newman University Birmingham.




Green Criminology (Level 2 option)


Criminology Research Project and Dissertation (Level 3)


Sociology Research Project and Dissertation (Level 3)


Social Science Research Online (Postgraduate)


I also contribute to the following:


Introducing Criminology (Level 1)


Understanding Society (Level 1)


Sociology of Development & Change (Level 3)


Postgraduate Research Supervision 


Cathriona Kearns, Environmental impact of pesticides and herbicides (as used on golf courses)


Patrick McCann, Mega-Events and Urban Politics: Governing Rio 2016.






Peer-reviews for the following journals and publishers:


South European Society & Politics


Social Movement Studies








Local Environment


Journal of Common Market Studies


Environmental Politics


European Journal of Political Research


The Sociological Quarterly


Global Networks




Ashgate Publishing


Bloomsbury Publishing


I have also reviewed research grant applications for the Irish Research Council in the Humanities and Social Sciences and the ESRC.


Indicators of Esteem


Plenary speaker at the 7th Pan-Hellenic Conference on Environmental Policy & Administration: ‘Environmental Concern and Environmental Behaviour’, University of the Aegean, 30/05-01/06/2014.


Invited presentation: Sport mega-events hosting and capacity and capacity for environmental sustainability: Past experience and Brazilian prospects, LAPS-USP, Sao Paulo, 20/05/2013


Invited presentation: Conflict over location of waste disposal facilities, CIWM members annual meeting, QUB, 21/01/2013.


Invited presentation at the conference Political Consequences of Economic Crisis: Voting and Protesting in Europe since 2008, Department of Government and BMW Center for German & European Studies, Georgetown University, 17-18/04/2012.


Invited presentation: Civil protest and mobilizations against the politics of austerity in Greece: Betty Sinclair Winter School, Trademark-ICTU, Lusty beg Island, Fermanagh, 26/11/2011.




Leadership roles


2014-ongoing-Programme Director BA Sociology




Recent and current administrative roles


2013-2014 – Staff rep on Senior Management Board


September to December 2014 – Leader of Identities, Life Cycle and Cultural Research Cluster


October 2013 ongoing – Careers Liaison Adviser


September 2013 ongoing – Member of the Central Students Appeals Committee (CSAC)


September 2012 ongoing – Member of the University Ethics Committee


September 2011 – September 2014 - School Green/environmental champion


15 September 2011-September 2014 – Disability and Equality Officer


2008-1009 – All School Advisor of Studies


2007-2013 – Sociology Moderator of Access to Higher Education Programmes












New and Alternative Social Movements in Spain.  The Left, Identity and Globalizing Processes

(2014) This collection offers a diachronic analytical study of new and alternative social movements in Spain from the democratic transition to the first decade of the 21st century, paying attention to anti-war mobilizations and the use of new technologies as a mobilizing resource. New and alternative social movements are studied through the prism of identified linkages among the left, movement identities and global processes in the Spanish context. Weight is given to certain important historical aspects, like Spain’s relatively recent authoritarian past, and certain value-added factors, such as the weak associationalism and materialism exhibited by the Spanish public. These are complemented by exploring insights offered by key theoretical approaches on social movements (political opportunities structures, resource mobilization). The volume covers established social movement cases (gender, peace, environmental movements) as well as those with a more explicit connection to the current context of global contestation (squatters’ and anti-globalization movements).

The Olympic Games and the Environment.

(2013) Nowadays, sports Mega-events - with the Olympic Games leading the way – go to immense effort to showcase their environmental credentials. With that in mind, this book compares and contrasts the environmental credentials of four Olympic Host cities starting with Sydney 2000, the host of the first Green Summer Olympics, and culminating with London 2012. Setting out a comparative cross-national study that makes extensive use of perspectives offered by environmental sociology, this book showcases the scientific analytical vigour of this sociological sub-discipline. Since in most cases, the linkages between hosting the Games and the environment that are made by the general public and policy-makers are mostly in relation to the regeneration of the host city, this book engages with this type of environmental related contributions that can be made by Olympic Games hosting. Yet, inspired by the emphasis that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gives on the environmental impact and legacy of Games in terms of the Ecological Modernization (EM) perspective, the book engages with the potential imbued by Olympic Games hosting for the EM of the host nation.

 Olympic Games, Mega-Events and Civil Societies. Globalization, Environment, Resistance.

Palgrave Macmillan, 2011/12 (with Graeme Hayes)

(2011/12) This volume explores sports mega-events, their social, political, and cultural characters, the value systems that they inscribe and draw on, the claims they make on us and the claims the organisers make for them, the spatial and ethical relationships they create, and the responses of civil societies to them. Our premise is that sports mega-events are not simply sporting or cultural phenomena. They are also political and economic events, characterised by the generation and projection of symbolic meanings – most obviously over the nature of statehood, economic power, and of collective cultural identity – and by social conflict, especially over land use, and over the extent and contours of public spending commitments. Because of their peculiar spatial and temporal organization, they raise questions about the relationships between global cultural and economic flows and particular local and national spaces. Because of their evolutionary characteristics, they ask us to consider not simply the time of the event but of the effects of the event on the long-term direction, implementation, and consequences of public policy.

Environmental Sociology (2008 with Iosif Botetzagias)

View all (49) »

Frequent Journals

View all »

View all (50) »

Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

ID: 30187

NSS 2016 Footer Content