Politics is concerned with government, world trade agreements and global capitalism, while politics with a small ‘p’ focuses on the everyday micro-politics of life and our every-day decisions. Football has always been political; the bodies of clubs, players and fans are enmeshed with politics. Clubs have been born as a result of population upheavals and migration; have been associated with ethno-national and religious communities, and political ideologies and parties. Today, football continues to be tied to political events and symbols. Playing, and participating in football as a fan, are also welcome forms of escapism from social isolation, with ongoing debates examining the rationale for investment in sport as a mechanism to promote social inclusion (see Spaaij et al. 2014).
Working collaboratively with UK and EU partners, the Football and Politics project takes a comparative approach across multiple research sites to engage with these issues through key themes such as:
- Identity politics
- Fan activism
- Football-related violence
Methods of data collection include participant observation, research interviews, and visual-sonic methodologies.