Football & International Relations

There are many parallels between the world of sport and the world of international politics.  The interplay of sport and politics is fascinating.  From the way sport is manipulated by political leaders to way sport reflects political actions taken by the leaders.  This blog will contain stories from each of those perspectives.

King George VI meets Billy Liddell at the 1950 FA Cup Final

I have also been trying to use sport as a way of explaining IR theories, while at the same time using IR theory to explain some of the goings on in sport.

On this page please see links to stories attempting to do just that:

Firstly, Machiavelli & Mourinho – just how closely does this most Machiavellian manager match up to the master of manipulation?

After that, Thucydides & the Transfer Window – the transfer window is a maelstrom of negotiation and brinkmanship, what can the ancient Greek historian tell us about the motives and strategy used by football teams?

Then, Liberal Economics & Modern Football – how the unstoppable rise of liberal economics has altered football forever.

Up next, Realism, Idealism & Arsene Wenger – how much of an Idealist is the much-maligned Arsenal manager? And is he naive and unprepared, or simply taking a rational approach to an irrational system?

Fifthly, Football and the Statistical Revolution – the behavioural revolution in psychology spread to economics, politics, warfare, game theory among other areas.  Now the Moneyball-inspired statistical revolution is gaining ground in the world of football.

More recently, I wrote about the mercantilist history of Athletic Bilbao, in particular focusing on the cantera policy that, for over 100 years, has ensured that all Athletic’s players have to have Basque roots.


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