Conceptualizing and examining the role of world sports events in international society.

Dr. Bernd Bucher and Dr. Julian Eckl, from the University of St. Gallen, have recently published in the prestigious journal, “International Theory”, Cambridge University Presses’ interdisciplinary and academic journal, which promotes theoretical scholarship about the positive, legal, and normative aspects of world politics respectively.

The article, entitled “Football's contribution to international order: The ludic and festive reproduction of international society by world societal actors” examines the role of world sport events in reproducing international society as a whole, not just individual states. The analysis of the role of world sport events, especially FIFA's World Cup and the infrastructure of football, leads to the conclusion that these allow for the ludic and festive reproduction of key primary institutions, while making international society experienceable as competition-based practices footing on shared norms and values.

Dr. Bucher commented: “This study is primarily about better understanding the role of diverse types of actors in (de)stabilizing international order. As such, our contribution mainly aims to advance conceptual debates concerning the relationship between international and world society. We really enjoyed writing a piece that will also be of interest to those working on rituals and the sociology of sports. It was a great opportunity to work on a project that neither of us could have written alone, and it was great taking this piece on the road to international conferences, especially because the empirical focus of the article is not what one would expect of either Julian or myself. We were really pleased with the review and publication process, not least because we had research and proof-reading support from Franklin student Danielle Lopez-Cecetaite in the final stages of the project. Involving students at the undergraduate level in research is really a unique feature of Franklin, and a great example of how to integrate teaching and research in a mutually beneficial way.”

The article is now available on the International Theory homepage and will go into print in the course of the year.