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Building Europe with the Ball

Turning Points in the Europeanization of Football, 1905–1995

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Edited By Philippe Vonnard, Grégory Quin and Nicolas Bancel

Since 1990, football history has become increasingly important within the field of sport science, yet few studies have centred on the Europeanization of the game from the interwar period onwards. This period saw the creation of a sovereign institution dedicated to European football, the establishment of specific rules about players’ transfers and contracts and, in particular, the development of competitions.
This book examines the development of European football between 1905 and 1995 from a transnational perspective. It offers a space for discussion to both early-career and established historians from a range of different countries, leading to a better understanding of the crucial turning points in the Europeanization of the game. The volume aims to promote valuable new reflections on the role of football in the European integration process.
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Yohan Ariffin: Afterword. Sport and Global Politics: Still an Unchartered Territory?

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YOHAN ARIFFIN

Afterword. Sport and Global Politics: Still an Unchartered Territory?

Specialists of international relations (IR) should read this book as an important corrective to the long-standing neglect of sport in general and football in particular within their field of study. While for many years historians and sociologists have been directing their attention to sports, scholars of world politics, for their part, have by and large continued to snub the subject with a few notable exceptions to which I shall refer further on. Conventional explanation for this neglect is that IR is mainly concerned with interstate relations. This assumption, however, flies in the face of four decades of theoretical developments in the discipline, which have drawn attention to the fact that world politics is not shaped by states alone and their so-called ‘high politics’ but by a multitude of actors and forces. As aptly summarized by Christopher Hill in his prologue to one of the few books dedicated to studying the interplay of sport and IR, there is little justification for excluding from consideration the sporting sphere now that the main focus of the discipline has moved on to transnational and global relations, incorporating all cross-border activities with potential impact on politics.1 In what follows I shall briefly highlight how sport can be fruitfully studied from three theoretical approaches of international politics, namely realism, ‘pluralism’, and constructivism. Bearing in mind that my intention here is not to provide a literature review, which has...

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