1st Edition

Sport and Secessionism

Edited By Mariann Vaczi, Alan Bairner Copyright 2021
    270 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    270 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Sport and Secessionism examines how sporting cultures reflect, inform and sometimes frustrate secessionist movements around the world. Investigating a wide range of cases, the book explores key themes including nationalism, nation building, state-region antagonisms, independence movements, identity and ethnic politics, sovereignty and autonomy processes, all through the lens of sport.

    Sports are uniquely positioned to shed light on secessionist politics due to their pervasiveness in society, and their ability to absorb, reflect and produce political projections. The book presents analyses of a wide range of geographical, cultural and political contexts in which sports are deployed to pursue regional independence, or greater sovereignty and autonomy, and explores the dual processes of sub-national identity construction and state sovereignty deconstruction. The book includes fourteen cases from such diverse parts of the world as Ireland, Taiwan, Turkey, Catalonia, Biafra, Canada and the UK, among others.

    Offering a unique perspective on an important geopolitical issue, this book is fascinating reading for anybody with an interest in sport and politics, the sociology of sport, political science, political geography, nationalism studies or international history.


    Chapter 1: Sport and the Unfinished Irish Revolution
    Alan Bairner

    Chapter 2: Sport and secessionism in Scotland
    Stuart Whigham

    Chapter 3: Speaking for Wales: Sport and secessionism in a small nation
    John Harris

    Chapter 4: A game of lions and devils: sport as a driver and inhibitor of Flemish secession
    Arnout Geeraert, Edith Drieskens and Bart Maddens

    Chapter 5: The Tug of War of Nationalisms: Agonic Sports for Basque-Spanish Relations
    Mariann Vaczi

    Chapter 6: Visions of Building, Specters of Collapse: Alternative Routes to Secessionism in Catalonia
    Mariann Vaczi

    Chapter 7: Football in Corsica: From the pride of being French to the desire not to be?
    Didier Rey

    Chapter 8: Living Through Defeat: Hungarian-Romanian Relations through Szekler Hockey
    Mariann Vaczi

    Chapter 9: Two Styles of Engagement: Kurds and Football in Turkey
    Ă–mer Turan

    Chapter 10: Narratives of nationalist politics and sport in Sindh
    Sahar Gul and Alan Bairner

    Chapter 11: Assembling the Diasporic Nation; Kabylia at the CONIFA World Football Cup
    Jonathan Harris

    Chapter 12: Sport and secessionism in Biafra
    Johnny Precious Ogbah

    Chapter 13: "One China with Respective Interpretations" No more? - the struggle between China/PRC and Taiwan/ROC in sport
    Ying Chiang and Tzu-hsuan Chen

    Chapter 14: The Montreal Hockey Nation: Ethnic and/or Civic Attachments?
    Jack Jedwab


    Mariann Vaczi is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, USA and author of Soccer, Culture and Society in Spain: An Ethnography of Basque Fandom (Routledge, 2015).

    Alan Bairner is Professor of Sport and Social Theory at Loughborough University, UK and co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Sport and Politics (Routledge, 2016).