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Why the Far Right Tries to Recruit Football Hooligans | Decade of Hate (VICE, 2021)

By January 27, 2022February 15th, 2022No Comments

VICE, 2021

For decades, football and the far right have interacted with each other in various ways across the globe. This interaction often involves a small subset of fans – ‘ultras’, ‘casuals’, ‘hooligans’, the definitions change depending on where you are in the world – who are seen as the most devoted, fanatical followers of their football clubs, often engaging in extreme violence with each other.

But what is it about hooligans that makes them a target of far-right recruitment?

This is how, from London to Belgrade to Jerusalem, right-wing movements and political parties have attempted to co-opt the testosterone-charged energy of the football terraces, and turn it into a ready-made weapon to silence opponents. But also how rival hooligan firms can put aside their differences, just as they do for international games, and form their own far-right movements.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.