Richard Mills, “The Politics of Football in Yugoslavia: Sport, Nationalism and the State”

Izdavač I.B.Tauris objavio je 2018. godine knjigu Richarda Millsa “Politika nogometa u Jugoslaviji: sport, nacionalizam i država”.



The Politics of Football in Yugoslavia: Sport, Nationalism and the State


Richard Mills




Even before Tito’s Communist Party established control over the war-ravaged territories which became socialist Yugoslavia, his partisan forces were using football as a revolutionary tool. In 1944 a team representing the incipient state was dispatched to play matches around the liberated Mediterranean. This consummated a deep relationship between football and communism that endured until this complex multi-ethnic polity tore itself apart in the 1990s. Starting with an exploration of the game in the short-lived interwar Kingdom, this book traces that liaison for the first time. Based on extensive archival research and interviews, it ventures across the former Yugoslavia to illustrate the myriad ways football was harnessed by an array of political forces. Communists purposefully re-engineered Yugoslavia’s most popular sport in the tumult of the 1940s, using it to integrate diverse territories and populations. Subsequently, the game advanced Tito’s distinct brand of communism, with its Cold War-era policy of non-alignment and experimentation with self-management. Yet, even under tight control, football was racked by corruption, match-fixing and violence. Alternative political and national visions were expressed in the stadiums of both Yugoslavias, and clubs, players and supporters ultimately became perpetrators and victims in the countries’ violent demise.


In Richard Mills’ hands, the former Yugoslavia’s stadiums become vehicles to explore the relationship between sport and the state, society, nationalism, state-building, inter-ethnic tensions and war. The book is the first in-depth study of the Yugoslav game and offers a revealing new way to approach the complex history of Yugoslavia.


In Richard Mills’ hands, the stadiums of the former Yugoslavia become vehicles to explore the relationship between state and society, nationalism, popular protest, state-building and inter-ethnic tensions. The book is the first to study football in this period, and in doing so offers a revealing new way to approach the complex history of socialist Yugoslavia.


Table of Contents



Introduction; Chapter 1 – Antecedents: Football in the Kingdom, 1919–1941; Chapter 2 – Liberation Football, 1941–1945; Chapter 3 – (Re)constructing the Yugoslav Game, 1945–1948; Chapter 4 – A ‘Golden Age’? Prestige, Problems and the ‘Third Way’ after 1948   ; Chapter 5 – Keeping the Revolution Alive: The Long 1970s; Chapter 6 – After Tito – Nationalism! The 1980s; Chapter 7 – The Maksimir Myth; Chapter 8 – On the Brink: The 1990–1991 Season; Chapter 9 – Football on the Frontlines, 1991–1995; Conclusion


Author Info



Richard Mills is lecturer in Modern European History at the University of East Anglia, where he received his PhD, and has recently become the course director there for the BA in Modern History. Mills has published in peer-reviewed journals, edited collections and the popular sports magazine When Saturday Comes. He has guest lectured at the CIES’s prestigious FIFA master’s programme.




‘Richard Mills’ The Politics of Football in Yugoslavia is everything that a serious work of football history should be. Prodigiously researched, fair-minded in its assessments, and wide-ranging in its themes, Mills’ work expertly navigates the contested spaces of Yugoslavia’s most popular sport … an outstanding piece of scholarship: a major contribution to the history of sport and to the history of Yugoslavia.’ – Alan McDougall, Professor of History, University of Guelph and author of The People’s Game: Football, State, and Society in East Germany



‘Anyone who is interested in the history of the sport will read this book with great profit.’ – Robert Edelman, Professor of Russian History and the History of Sport, University of California, San Diego



‘Essential reading for historians of Yugoslav culture and society.’ – Catherine Baker, Senior Lecturer in 20th Century History, University of Hull



‘Brilliant … a wide, solid and well-written overview of an essential and partially unknown chapter of European twentieth century history.’ – Pierre Lanfranchi, Professor of History, De Montfort University and CIES Neuchâtel



‘Destined to be the seminal volume on the topic of Yugoslav football and can be read with benefit and pleasure by both lay and expert readers.’ – Christian Axboe Nielsen, Associate Professor, Aarhus University


Bibliographic Info


Imprint: I.B.Tauris

Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

Series: International Library of Twentieth Century History



ISBN: 9781784539139

Publication Date: 28 Feb 2018

Number of Pages: 320

Height: 216

Width: 138

Illustrations: 89 black and white integrated illustrations–topics/Social–cultural-history/Sport-and-the-State-in-Socialist-Yugoslavia-Football-Politics-and-Nationalism



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