Football, we’re told frequently, is in a state of crisis.
A microcosm of late capitalism’s free-for-all, it has become almost dystopian in its commodification, and its working-class constituency have become thoroughly alienated from the sport they grew up believing was a birthright. Games Without Frontiers seeks to interrogate this perspective by forcing us to think about what we mean when we say “football”. Along the way, it skewers media cliches about footballers and fans, considers the sport’s implications for radical politics and aesthetics, and situates the ‘working-man’s game’ in relation to twenty-first century discussions of political authenticity. Written half as a travelogue, Games Without Frontiers seeks to protect football from some of its would-be saviours without ever losing sight of what it means to have a fan’s investment in the game.
Joe Kennedy is from the north-east of England and teaches English and Cultural Studies on the University of Gothenburg’s programme at the University of Sussex in Brighton. He writes on literature, critical and cultural theory, politics, music and sport for a range of publications.
“Treats football with the kind of serious analysis it deserves but rarely gets.”
“A rich exploration of football in its broadest sense – not as merely a set of match results, statistics and tactical approaches but as a living social entity.”
“A successful attempt to think through the nature of football’s significance.”
“Games Without Frontiers forces us to see philosophy and football in a new relation: as inherently connected rather than as opposites.”