Call for Papers | Football and Diaspora: Connecting Dispersed Communities through the Global Game, Edited Volume | Call ends December 15, 2021


      • Dr. Jeffrey Kassing (Professor, Arizona State University, USA)
      • Dr. Sangmi Lee (Assistant Professor, Arizona State University, USA)
FC Romania v Grays Athletic in FA Cup Preliminary round 2018. Grays Athletic outplayed by FC Romania in a poor game.

Football/soccer exerts considerable influence on identity (Porat, 2010), building both imagined and material communities as fans collectively engage in shared rituals (Anderson, 1991; Doidge et al., 2020). For supporters who associate deeply with football (Giulianotti, 2002), it substantiates one’s connection with other social categories and relations — thereby configuring “a way of life” that structures the past, present, and future of adherents (Porat, 2010, p. 287). Thus, football is an available pursuit that binds people across social categories and to particular versions of nationality (Duke & Crolley, 1996). As such, football maintains the capacity to connect diasporic communities that are geographically dispersed across nation-states.

Football has been a primary driver for accelerating assimilation of migrant populations. This is particularly evident in Switzerland where immigrants or Secondos (i.e., children of immigrants) account for about 40% of the players in the domestic professional leagues and close to 60% of the national team membership. Practices such as these heighten discussions about migration and nationality, while generating and potentially complicating affiliation for diasporic communities (Hess, 2014). At more localized levels clubs can be constituted to represent particular diasporic groups. For example, members of FC Romania, which competes at the lower-end of the English football pyramid, derive pride from knowing that they represent not only the Romanian residents living and working in England, but also their homeland and co-ethnic members in the diaspora (Magee, 2016). In Chile, Palestinian migrants founded Club Deportivo Palestino in 1916, which has come to represent the large Palestinian diaspora in that country. The team competes in Chile’s top league while donning the national colors of Palestine (Schwabe, 2019). The proliferation of clubs that consist of players from diaspora has resulted in international competitions like the FIFA-sanctioned Croatian World Club Championship, a tournament Croatia hosts every 4 years for clubs with Croatian heritage drawn from around the world.

The intention of this edited volume is to feature work that illustrates the multiplicity of ways in which football and diaspora intertwine. The collection will examine how diasporic communities make connections and develop a sense of belonging with each other as well as their homelands through football fandom and participation. In doing so the compilation should implicate broader considerations spanning sport, culture, politics, nationalism, and globalization.

The editors seek manuscripts that critically engage issues related to football/soccer and diaspora. This may include topics that heighten our understanding of: (a) migration, acculturation, and assimilation; (b) sport, identity, and representation; (c) the construction and accomplishment of nationality; (d) sport and football fandom; (e) and nationhood, citizenship, and politics. We welcome cross-disciplinary research from anthropological, communication, cultural, historical, psychological, political and sociological perspectives. Works can employ empirical, historical, rhetorical, case study, fieldwork, or theory-based approaches.

Submission Process

If you are interested in contributing to this edited volume, please send an extended abstract of your proposed chapter (400-500 words) and a brief biography (200 words or less) by December 15, 2021. As appropriate the abstract should clearly state the objectives of the study, the theoretical framework, and the methodological approach — making explicit suitability for inclusion in a volume emphasizing football/soccer and diaspora.

Authors will be notified by February 1, 2022 of acceptance. At that time accepted works will be incorporated into an edited book proposal for consideration in the Critical Research in Football series published by Routledge.

Final full-length manuscripts will be approximately 5000-7000 words in length (including references), depending on the number of chapters selected and included. Extended abstracts and subsequent chapters, should adhere to APA (7th edition) reference style.

Please direct enquiries and submit materials to Dr. Jeffrey Kassing (


Anderson, B. (1991). Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. Verso.
Doidge, M., Kossakowski, R., & Mintert, S. (2020). Ultras: Passion and performance of contemporary football fandom. University of Manchester Press.
Duke, V., & Crolley, L. (1996). Football, nationality and the state. Longman.
Giulianotti, R. (2002). Supporters, followers, fans, and flaneurs: A taxonomy of spectator identities in football. Journal of Sport & Social Issues, 26(1), 25-46.
Hess, P. (2014). Small-country soccer and the integration debate: The case of Switzerland. Soccer & Society, 15(3), 334-352.
Magee, W. (2016, October 12). Progressive football, shared heritage: Exploring the
identity of FC Romania.
Porat, A. B. (2010). Football fandom: A bounded identification. Soccer & Society, 3, 277-290.
Schwabe, S. (2019). Resistance in representation: The diasporic politics of Club Deportivo Palestino. Soccer & Society, 20(4), 693-703.
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