By purchasing this content you agree and accept the terms and conditions
Sociology of sport knowledge on national identity is grounded in research that focuses primarily on long established nation-states with widely known histories. The relationship between sport and national identity in postsocialist/Soviet/colonial nations that have gained independence or sovereignty since 1990 has seldom been studied. This paper examines the role of sports in the formation of national identity in postsocialist Slovenia, a nation-state that gained independence in 1990. Our analysis focuses on the recent context in which the current but fluid relationship between sport and Slovenian national identity exists. Using Slovenia as a case study we identify seven factors that may moderate the effectiveness of sports as sites for establishing and maintaining national identity and making successful global identity claims in the twenty-first century. We conclude that these factors should be taken into account to more fully understand the sport-national identity relationship today, especially in new and developing nations.
Topič is with the University of Ljubljana—Faculty of Sport, LJUBLJANA, Slovenia. Coakley is with the University of Chichester, Department of Sports Studies, Chichester, United Kingdom.