Sport et Citoyenneté

Call for Papers – International Conference – “Football fans and their support to national teams”

5-6 MAY 2014 – BRUSSELS. Organized by UBL.


In June 2014, Brazil will host the 20th Football World Cup. Taking place every four years, this planetary mega event is a valuable tool to gauge the assertion of national and local identities. It is also a good opportunity for supporters to stir – or moderate – dissent, thus playing a buffer role between the national team and the political community. The ULB’s research group on sport is organising an international and interdisciplinary conference in Social Science to better understand the issues relating to “football fans and their support to national teams”. The question of “football fandom” has been the subject of numerous studies in Social Science, especially regarding topics such as the politicisation of football passions (Bromberger, 1995; Cano, 2001), identification (Smith, 2002; Giulianotti & Armstrong, 1997; Lestrelin, 2012), social integration or relation to violence (Alabarces, 2003; Dunning, 1982). Most of these studies however, deal with football fandom through the prism of local teams. Issues raised by supporterism at a national level on the other hand, have only minimally been addressed.

These issues are nonetheless numerous: Who support the national team? What relation do they maintain with other groups of supporters (domestic or foreign)? How are their different level of adherence and commitment articulated and prioritised? What are the time frames and areas of national supporterism? To what extent do they contribute to the consolidation of a national identity? Etc. …

Moreover, the study of national supporterism in football opens the door for comparative studies and encourages disciplinary exchanges (history, sociology, anthropology, political science)

The CEVIPOL (ULB) will hold an international conference on these topics


Deadline for submission for this call for papers: 15 November 2013. People who have sent their proposal will be informed of the outcome of the selection process.

Working language: English and French.

Send your proposal with the title of the presentation, a 1500 character summary including spaces, and brief biographical statement.

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