Kicking Off: Power and Football in Russia

Lecture and discussion

with Timm Beichelt (European University Viadrina), Martin Brand (University of Bremen) and Julia Glathe (Free University Berlin)
Chair: Michael G. Esch (Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe)

If you need a translation into sign language, please contact us two weeks prior to the event: events(at)zois-berlin(dot)de.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup – surely the most important event in international sport – is scheduled to start in Russia on 14 June. Two days before kick-off, the ZOiS Forum will turn the spotlight on the “beautiful game”. Our experts will look behind the façade of this sporting spectacular and discuss football as a proxy political “playing field” and arena for protest. Martin Brand, co-editor of the book Russkij Futbol, kicks off the event with a look back at 120 years of the Russian game. Professor Timm Beichelt, Julia Glathe and Martin Brand will then talk about football in Russia today, with a focus on its relationship with power, on fan subculture and the far right, and the current debate about the 2018 World Cup in Russia itself.

Prof Dr Timm Beichelt is a Professor of European Studies in the Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences at European University Viadrina (Frankfurt/Oder). His research interests include the European Union, democracy in Eastern Europe, culture and politics, and the far right in Eastern Europe. His book Ersatzspielfelder – Zum Verhältnis von Fußball und Macht [Proxy Playing Fields – Football and Power] was recently published by Suhrkamp.

Martin Brand is a researcher at the University of Bremen, working on social policy in the post-Soviet space and the cultural and social history of football in Eastern Europe. He is a co-editor of the book Russkij Futbol, a history of the Russian game.

Julia Glathe is a researcher at the Institute for East European Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. Her research focuses on migration policy in Eastern Europe, the far right, hooliganism and football fan subculture in Russia.

PD Dr Michael G. Esch is a lecturer at Leipzig University and a researcher at the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe. He is currently working on transnational migration in and out of East Central Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. His book Die Stadt als Spielfeld. Raumbegriffe, Raumnutzungen, Raumdeutungen polnischer Hooligans [The City as Playing Field: How Polish hooligans define, interpret and make use of urban space] was published in 2016.