Global and Local Football: Politics and Europeanization on the Fringes of the EU

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Routledge, 2008 M03 31 - 224 pages

What can the history of a nation's football reveal about that nation's wider political and socio-cultural identity? How can the study of local football culture help us to understand the powerful international forces at play within the modern game?

Based on long-term and detailed ethnographic research, this book uses Malta as a critical case study to explore the dynamics of contemporary football. Situated on the fringes of the EU, and with an appalling record in international competition, the Maltese are nevertheless fanatical about the game. This book examines Maltese football in the context of the island's unique politics, culture and national identity, shedding light upon both Maltese society and on broader processes, both local and global, within the international game. The book explores a range of key issues in contemporary football, such as:

the dynamics of international player migration

football corruption and ethics

the politics of sponsorship and TV deals

the global appeal of footballing "brands" such as Manchester United, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

This book is essential reading for students and researchers working in Sports Studies, Sociology of Sport, Football, Globalisation, Politics and Ethnic Studies.


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I found this book extremely useful for my PhD studies on Maltese football and the migration of Maltese football players to foreign leagues. The book is a very good read in that it gives the reader humorous anecdotes into the culture of the Maltese. It also helps the reader understand the intricacies brought about through politics. Being Maltese I found that the authors did a great job in understanding and depicting the way of life of the Maltese and how the history of the Maltese islands has influenced greatly the culture of this nation. The lack of books on Maltese culture, football and politics makes this book even more essential to those readers interested in getting to know more about smaller nations and the challenges they experience.  


Europeanisation and football
Producing the nation
Producing difference
Traditions and modernities
Patronage and party
Footballing modernities
The price of football
Follow the money
Global flows of talent
The global in the local
The just man in Malta

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About the author (2008)

Gary Armstrong is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Brunel University, London.

Jon P. Mitchell is a Reader in Social Anthropology at the University of Sussex, Brighton.

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