Més Que Un Club: Football, National Identity and Political Preferences

Martin Fernandez Sanchez
Start date

Thursday 18 Feb 2021, 16:00

End date

Thursday 18 Feb 2021, 17:00

Ticket information

Please contact principe@ese.eur.nl for the link to this seminar.

Few things are as powerful as sports when it comes to driving passions and emotions. This paper examines whether the emotional trigger of sports can entail political consequences, looking at the impact of Football Club Barcelona(FCB) in Catalonia.

I find that FCB performance has a strong (temporary) effect on Catalan identification and preferences on secession. Individuals surveyed one day after a defeat are 11% less likely to report a strong feeling of Catalan identity and are 15% less likely to support Catalan independence. By contrast, FCB titles at the end of the season increase identification and support for regional self-determination by around 11%. I find suggestive evidence that these effects can be driven by changes in euphoria, as FCB performance affects political and economic prospects as well as trust in the government.

More information

The ECASE team 
Jan van Ours, Thomas Peeters, Stefan Szymanski, Francesco Principe and Sam Hoey