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Joining the dots


We explore the pan-European dynamics of...

State surveillance | Football, politics, society | The media | Independence movements|

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Football, Politics, and Society seeks to try to link the way football meets politics in the different nations of Europe. Does football really bring communities together? Can it shake of its association with racism, sexism and homophobia? And how does football affect politics, and vice versa?

Football in Europe is the second theme of Joining the dots, a new Can Europe make it? feature that connects national phenomena to unveil European trends.


Football: this is what being European looks like

What’s the most Europeanised institution in British society? The answer is easy if you think about it.

Heysel: 30 years on

A reflection on the thirtieth anniversary of the Heysel Stadium disaster - one of football's worst tragedies.

Football and its role in unifying the European public space

The Iron Curtain gave in when confronted with soccer, and that was only the beginning. Interview with Pascal Boniface.

Should Serbia vs Albania have gone ahead in the first place?

Were UEFA being dangerously naive when they allowed Serbia and Albania to be drawn into the same qualifying group?

Putting politics on the pitch: UEFA's failed response to Serbia-Albania

Instead of bringing the focus back to sports, UEFA’s decision about the abandoned Albania-Serbia game has given an even larger stage to politicians and their political rhetoric.

Football and ethnic violence in the Balkans

How can one flag cause so much trouble? A contextual analysis of the now notorious, abandoned football match between Serbia and Albania on 14 October 2014.

Greece and the financial politics of football

Owning a football club has increasingly become a means of securing political influence in many European countries. The recent Koriopolis scandal in Greece is just one example of this.

The art of dissent: twenty years of philosophy football

For the last twenty years I have been organising Philosophy Football FC, a team which started with eleven ideologically sound players who had trouble defending inswinging corners.

Does democracy make Germany better at football?

Does democratic ownership of German clubs help explain their success at football?

A post-World Cup glow for Belgium?

The success of the Belgian national team at the 2014 World Cup has briefly united Flemish and Walloon speakers, but will this have any effect on the country's increasingly fractious identity politics?

Taking a selfie of yourself eating a banana wont solve racism

#weareallmonkeys just allows white people to jokily dismiss their own privilege without addressing the racist power-structures which still exist in our society

Kosovo United?

The debut of the Kosovo national football team in their first ever FIFA sanctioned match was a hugely significant event for a country still struggling for global recognition. Read more from our Football, Politics and Society debate.

Football: an Italian synecdoche?

Are the issues facing Italian football emblematic of the issues facing the country itself? Read more from our Football, Politics and Society debate.

Commercialisation and nationalism in Polish football

Could there be a link between the increasing commercialisation of Polish football and the rise in far-right hooliganism?

The Bosnian national football team: a case study in post-conflict institution building

The Bosnian national football team provides an inspiring example of what Bosnian society could become, given the right conditions.

Where Turkish politics meets football: AKP's offside goal against 'Çarşı'

ÇARŞI are being painted as the culprits of the pitch invasion and violence of the Sunday game. However, the 'losing side' of the incident is also ÇARŞI and the wider Beşiktaş fan base, a clear contradiction in terms.

Proud to be German? Football and the fear of nationalism

Though some fans are enthusiastic, even proud of today's multi-ethnic, multi-racial German football teams, taking pride in Germany is troubled by the historic affiliation of nationalism and racism.

Football in Turkey: A force for liberalisation and modernity?

The relationship between football and society in Turkey is unique and complex. Behind the corruption and fanaticism lies a culture that is challenging outdated social attitudes and leading Turkey's European aspirations.

"Red Star Serbia, never Yugoslavia!" Football, politics and national identity in Serbia

In the years before the war football fans from the former Yugoslavia had a sort of premilitary training in the stadia. Soon they would exchange the flags and banners for rifles and bombs.

The Nation's Most Holy Institution: football and the construction of Croatian national identity

More than religion or war, it is football that is uniquely shaping Croatian national identity in a post-Yugoslav world

Football, fascism and the British

Sunderland manager Di Canio has apparently finally distanced himself from fascism. What can we learn from the furore, about power and sport, politics and the personal, and the UK's relationship to fascist ideology?

'My Turkey': Berlin, immigration and the amateur football scene

Berlin's Turkish football clubs tell the tale of a local struggle for multiculturalism and integration, far away from the politics of migration.

Not enjoying the football. But ever interested by it

Is football racist to its core? The author starts out having thought so, but his experience of a particular group of joyful fans makes him wonder whether an inclusive tribalism might not be possible - even desirable

Football & politics: the legacy of Euro 2012 in Ukraine

Ahead of the Euro 2012 football championships, media attention on political scandal and excessive profiteering has undermined Ukrainian attempts to raise prestige in the eyes of the world. Janek Lasocki and Łukasz Jasina wonder if the hosts will eventually be able to defy critics and secure a positive legacy from the tournament.

Dangerous allies: when football hooligans and politicans meet

Football hooliganism occurs in societies all over the world - even in the Soviet Union, however much that was officially denied. In today’s Russia, however, football fanaticism has developed clear political undertones, with evidence that some groups have been colluding with the Kremlin against its opponents. Is this a ticking timebomb? wonders Mikhail Loginov

The Police International vs Russia’s football fans

As Russia’s largest and best organised ‘horizontal’ community in Russia, football fans have found themselves at the centre of governmental attempts to control informal groups, write Irina Borogan and Andrei Soldatov. Perhaps more surprisingly, they have also become guinea pigs for international data exchange programmes, with Russian authorities picking up the very worst of surveillance practices from their foreign colleagues.

Football as a catalyst for patriotism

As Russia becomes sports mad, Lyubov Borusyak explores the complex relationship of the Russians to their national identity, to losing and winning, and the fall and rise of their country

The rise of Russia and its football

As Moscow prepares to host an iconic Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea, Marc Bennetts turns a spotlight on the unknown world of Russian football.
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