Despite many negative expectations of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russia delivered one of the best World Cups in living memory. This book brings together leading scholars working in Russian studies, sociology and political science to analyse the 2018 World Cup and assess its significance for sport, Russia and the world.
The book explores the connections between sport, soft power, populism, protest, and international politics, and investigates topics including security, surveillance, social media and patriotic mobilization, shining new light on key contemporary themes in the social sciences. It reflects upon the importance of sporting mega-events for public diplomacy, and considers what the 2018 World Cup can tell us about the current condition of Russian society and the Russian state.
This is fascinating reading for anybody with an interest in soccer, sport and society, Russia, international politics, events, or post-Soviet societies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: a sporting riddle wrapped in mystery
1 The state of play in Russian football
2 Security and the spectacle: the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia’s “safest city”
VOLKAN IPEK AND ANDREY MAKARYCHEV
3 Populist tactics: Ramzan Kadyrov’s use of football as a political tool during the 2018 FIFA World Cup
4 Increased output legitimacy by hosting mega sport events? The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Twitter discourse
HENK ERIK MEIER, JULIA GLATHE, MICHAEL MUTZ AND MARTIN HÖLZEN
5 Sport and domestic “soft power” in Russia: take the skinheads bowling
6 The case of Pussy Riot’s protest at the World Cup 2018 in Russia: ‘the policeman enters the game’
7 Football, film, and the Russian state: an unorthodox alliance
8 Russian soft power as a result of FIFA 2018
9 Vladimir Putin, Russian foreign policy, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup: making Russia great again
10 Global soft power and local effects of the World Cup in Russia, Brazil, and South Africa
Richard Arnold is Associate Professor of Political Science at Muskingum University, USA, where he teaches courses on International Sports and Politics, Russian Politics, Russian Foreign Policy, and Ethnic Conflict and Nationalism.