Bogdan Popa,Dariusz Wojtaszyn,Krysztof Ruchniewicz,Lukas Zahner,Mirjam Gruber,Roland Benedikter,Tomasz Sahaj

Football Politics in Central Europe and Eastern Europe

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Football in Central-Eastern and Eastern Europe has long functioned as a carrier of the three “non-normal” socio-political drivers that were effective below the surface of modernity, including the official self-image of European political systems, since the second half of the 20th century: Tribal Politics, Imaginal Politics, and Contextual Politics. All three are trends that are currently surfacing prominently on an international and global level. Long before the return of the now proverbial “Political Tribes” by the means of populisms and neo-authoritarianisms in societies around the world, football in Central-Eastern and Eastern Europe worked as a subconscious vehicle of group instincts and political moods that represented, mirrored, informed and influenced political behavior and governmental decisions both in the post-WWII communist and then, after 1989, the neo-capitalist societies located east of the former iron curtain. Football has always been used by both governments and their opponents, including the dissident civil society, to further coherence and to symbolically represent specific readings of power relations, system ideologies and history. Football in Central and Eastern Europe was always able to attract and include large parts of the population, inducing them to symbolically express protest against the government or to sustain the “politics from above”. Through football politics, aspects of the area’s specific political mechanisms are introduced and explained.
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246 printed pages

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