Sport, Statehood and Transition in Europe: Comparative perspectives from post-Soviet and post-socialist societies, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Sport, Statehood and Transition in Europe

Comparative perspectives from post-Soviet and post-socialist societies, 1st Edition

Edited by Ekain Rojo-Labaien, Juan Álvaro Rodríguez Díaz, Joel Rookwood


320 pages | 23 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367344405
pub: 2020-06-03
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This book examines the political significance of sport and its importance for nation-state building and political and economic transition across thirteen post-Soviet and post-socialist countries, primarily located in Eastern Europe.

Adopting a critical case-study approach, building on historical and comparative frameworks, the book uses sport as a symbolic lens through which to examine the transition of Eastern European countries to the Western capitalist system.  Covering a wide geographical area, from Poland to the Caucuses and Turkmenistan, it explores key themes such as nationalism, governance, power relations, political ideology, separatism, commercialisation and economic development, and the symbolic value of mega-events. 

Sport, Statehood and Transition in Europe is fascinating reading for anybody with an interest in sport policy, the politics of sport or political science.

Table of Contents

1. Interpreting sport and transition in post-socialist and post-Soviet Europe: States, nations and markets Álvaro Rodríguez-Díaz, Joel Rookwood and Ekain Rojo-Labaien; Part I: Neoliberal Sport in post-Socialist Countries of Eastern Europe 2. The transformation of sport in post-communist Hungary: A transitology-informed approach Gyozo Molnar and Tamas Doczi; 3.The politics of sport in Poland after 1945: From socialist mass sports to market-oriented elite sports? Jacek Drozda, Krzysztof Jaskulowski and Piotr Majewski; 4.Sport as a mirror of society: The case of Croatia Sunčica Bartoluci; 5.Capacities for change: insights into the Lithuanian sports system Vilma Čingienė and Renatas Mizeras; Part II: Sport transition from the Socialist State to the Open Market 6.The Romanian sport system: Paths to commercialisation László Péter; 7. Playing in long shadows: Bosnian sport after Yugoslavia, socialism and war Richard Mills; 8.Sport and physical activity in post-communist Albania Philippa Velija; 9. Sport in post-socialist Ukraine Maryna Krugliak and Oleksandr Krugliak; 10.Statehood, nationalism and separatism: The role and meaning of sport in Georgia and its breakaway republics Joel Rookwood; Part III: Post-Soviet Presidentialism and Sport Mega Events 11.Sport in the political and economic transition in Belarus: state nationalism and mega eventsÁlvaro Rodríguez-Díaz; 12. Seeking out a nation? Sport policy changes in post-Soviet Russia Vitalii Gorokhov; 13.Russia and the politics of extraverted urbanism in the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2018 FIFA World Cup Oleg Golubchikov and Sven Daniel Wolfe;14.Oil-funded sports events as the embodiment of the evolution of post-Soviet Azerbaijan Ekain Rojo-Labaien; 15.Sports politics in authoritarian regimes. The synergies of sport, ideology and personality cult in Turkmenistan Slavomir Horak; 16.Sport, transition and nation-state building: evidence from post-Soviet and post-socialist states Joel Rookwood, Ekain Rojo-Labaien and Álvaro Rodríguez-Díaz; Index

About the Editors

Ekain Rojo-Labaien teaches at the University of Basque Country UPV/EHU, Spain, and he is a member of the Nor research group. He completed ten months of fieldwork in 2015 and 2016 in Baku funded by the Erasmus Mundus Backis European Commission programme.

Álvaro Rodríguez-Díaz is Professor of sociology of sport at the University of Seville, Spain, and Visiting Professor at the universities of Amsterdam, Belarusian State, Napier and Brasilia. He is a member of the Extended Board of the European Association for Sociology of Sports.

Joel Rookwood is Senior Lecturer in sport business management at the University of Central Lancashire, UK. He has travelled to 170 countries including every post-Soviet and post-Socialist state. His main research interests are sports mega events, sport-for-development and football fandom.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Sport Politics and Policy

The Routledge Research in Sport Politics and Policy series aims to give shape to, and showcase, the burgeoning academic field of ‘sport politics and policy’. Highlighting the political nature of sport, the series shows how sport can illuminate our understanding of wider political themes such as, for example, issues around governance; sport, foreign policy and ‘soft power’; gender politics, or the use of sport as a development tool. The series embraces all areas of sport politics and policy, including domestic, international and comparative studies, and includes work by world-leading and emerging scholars.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / European
POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Russian & Former Soviet Union
SPORTS & RECREATION / Sociology of Sports