I am currently working on two books reflecting my long-standing research interests in issues of territory and identity. In Transferring Allegiance: Football, Place and National Identity, I explore the intricate connections between football, place and politics. The focus is on the phenomena of footballers that switch national allegiance from where they were born to where they live or the country to which they have family connections. The declaration of a sporting nationality that may differ from an ‘official’ one, casts light on ideas of cultural hybridity and highlights the need to see identities as fluid and flexible. Responses to this phenomenon from supporters, media and those involved in sport range from an essentialist and exclusionary view of national identity through to more progressive, inclusionary, flexible and pragmatic perspectives. Drawing on a range of examples from a variety of geographic contexts the book casts light on the complexities of ethnic and national identity and the ways in which sport becomes a medium through which allegiances are (re)produced and expressed.
A second publication, A Research Agenda for Territory, is an edited volume which interrogates how ideas of territory and territorial practices are intimately bound up with issues of power and control. Drawing together a range of contributors from various countries, the aim is to provide a critical assessment of key areas of scholarship on territory with a view to mapping out a future research agenda. Territories are socially produced and reflect specific ways of thinking about geographic space while territorial strategies convey messages of political power which are communicated through various means including the creation and securing of borders. Territories, and the ways in which they are imagined, play an important role in the formation of peoples’ self-identity and contribute to feelings of belonging or exclusion. People identify with territories, most obviously through ideas of the nation, and they can be seen to exist (with various degrees of control, contestation and bordering practices) across a range of spatial scales and in a wide variety of contexts. The chapters in the volume draw together discussions on the conceptualization of territory and the ways in which territory and territorial practices are intimately bound up with issues of power and control.
Dr David Storey is Principal Lecturer in Geography, University of Worcester. A Research Agenda for Territory will be published by Edward Elgar. Transferring Allegiance: Football, Place and National Identity, is to be published by Rowman & Littlefield.
Image: Dr David Storey on the Dutch-Belgian border, 2018.