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ABSTRACT. There is a discourse in Europe’s current academic and political debate about growing anti-Europeanism linked to anti-globalization in the Central Eastern European (CEE) region. Football culture in the European Union’s East, particularly Poland, is perceived as symptom of such trend. Many of the local fan groups, although belonging to very different ideological and social stripes, conceive their actions more often than hooligans in other European nations as openly political – i.e. mainly as a form of resistance. “Resistance against the system” – including the national, the European and the global “systems” – is their unifying bond. In most cases, resistance against one of these systems means to automatically oppose the other two too. To understand this particular embedment of football as a contextual political factor in the public sphere of Central Eastern Europe, which is causing domestic turmoil and negative perceptions in other European nations and worldwide, one has to understand the political, social and cultural role of Europe’s most popular sport in the former “Eastern Bloc” during the 45 communist years 1945–1990.

Keywords: Central Eastern Europe; contextual politics, symbolism; historical narratology; social psychology; football

How to cite: Benedikter, Roland, and Dariusz Wojtaszyn (2018). “Football Politics in Central Eastern Europe: A Symptom of Growing Anti-Europeanism and Anti-Globalization?,” Geopolitics, History, and International Relations 10(1): 79–93.

Received 8 July 2017 • Received in revised form 5 September 2017
Accepted 7 September 2017 • Available online 29 September 2017

doi:10.22381/GHIR10120184

ROLAND BENEDIKTER
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Willy Brandt Centre for
German and European Studies,
University of Wroclaw
(corresponding author)
DARIUSZ WOJTASZYN
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Willy Brandt Centre for
German and European Studies,
University of Wroclaw

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