The 1st FREE Policy Brief on the Public Sphere 


The First Policy Brief from the FREE project, on the Public Sphere has been published. Here is the introduction. Please download to read more.

What does football say about contemporary European society? Is this form of popular culture a unifying or divisive factor in the overall integration between European countries and their peoples? Has football accumulated a collective memory? What trace has it left in the way people perceive each other across the continent? Has it created a genuinely transnational public space of communication and exchange? How does it influence perceptions and experiences of migration? What role do football mega-events play in this context? What are the policy-relevant dimensions of this most widely shared of all expressions of popular culture?

These are among the multiple questions the FREE Project has sought to find answers for since its launch in 2012. Designed as response to a call for innovative studies on “The Anthropology of European integration” in the everyday lives of European citizens, the project sought to produce evidence through a wide range of qualitative and quantitative research methods.

The present document is the first of three policy briefs issued by the project. It summarises results from the project’s historical, sociological and anthropological research streams. In order to highlight the policy-relevant aspects of the different interdisciplinary approaches and to emphasis the link between the two sections “Evidence and analysis” and “Policy implications and recommendations”, the findings are presented under seven thematic headings in both sections.

Two other policy briefs will deal in more detail with two specific sub-topics: the feminisation of football, and football stakeholders and governance.

 Please click here to download our first Policy brief, on the Public Sphere.