PhD defence G. (Gijs) van Campenhout

A Team of National Representatives? A history of the football World Cup, c. 1930-2018
Prof.dr. G. Oonk
Prof.dr. J.C. van Sterkenburg
Friday 25 Mar 2022, 13:00 - 14:30
PhD defence
Senate Hall
Erasmus Building
Campus Woudestein
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On 25 March 2022, G. van Campenhout will defend his PhD dissertation, entitled: ‘A Team of National Representatives? A history of the football World Cup, c. 1930-2018’.

Dissertation in short:

In many places the national football team is one of the few institutions that seem to reflect the ideals of a country as a nation-state. The idea of the national football team representing a unified and, arguably, homogenous nation is however a reality long ceased to be as national representatives are appearing to be more diverse than ever. In this dissertation, I examine how migration challenges the notions of citizenship and national belonging, and how understandings of these concepts are shaped in controversies around the eligibility of foreign-born players and football players with migration backgrounds throughout the history of the football World Cup, c. 1930-2018. To be more precise, this study is set up to gain a better understanding of the (increasing) discrepancy between formal citizenship and football players’ eligibility to represent a national football team on the one hand, and moral, normative ideals of citizenship and belonging to the nation on the other hand.

With increases in the volume and diversity of foreign-born players in the football World Cup, also the tone and ferocity in societal debates on the representativity of foreign-born players and footballers with a migration background in national football teams seem to have changed. Whereas in the past no one – not even FIFA – seemed much to care about these issues, today it is major feature of media and political debate. It could perhaps be argued that not necessarily these (increased) numbers seem to be the issue, but that its changing socio-economic and political conditions are.

More information

The public defence will begin exactly at 13.00 hrs. The doors will be closed once the public defence starts, latecomers may be able to watch on the screen outside. There is no possibility of entrance during the first part of the ceremony. Due to the solemn nature of the ceremony, we recommend that you do not take children under the age of 6 to the first part of the ceremony.

 A live stream link has been provided to the candidate.

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