Recent Research Contributions
It was a pleasure to know that the Radicalisation Awareness Network (organisation set up by the European Commission as an EU-wide umbrella network of practitioners engaged to prevent and counter radicalisation to violent extremism) has used my insight on these groups propaganda in their recent report: “Learning from adjacent fields: the relation between extremism and hooliganism”(December, 2018)
“Battling the Boneheads”. Safety & Security International. S&SI is the leading publication for the Counter-Terror and public safety communities; its audience comprises Security practitioners, policy-makers and professionals worldwide (November, 2018).
“Far Right, Football Terraces and The White Jihad”. International Study Workshop : ‘Learning from adjacent fields: Exploring the relation between hooliganism and extremism’ ; organised by the Radicalisation Awareness Network (organisation set up by the European Commission as an EU-wide umbrella network of practitioners engaged to prevent and counter radicalisation to violent extremism); the Polish Police and the Institute for Social Safety. The workshop presented preventive and exit measures for hooliganism and Right Wing Extremism. Warsaw, Poland, 25-26th October 2018
“Masculinity, violence and the Far Right”. International Research Conference: ‘Extreme Masculinities’ organised by the University of Vienna and the ZukunftsFonds (The Future Fund of the Republic of Austria subsidizes scientific and pedagogical projects which foster tolerance and mutual understanding on the basis of a close examination of the sufferings caused by the Nazi regime on the territory of present-day Austria), Wien, Austria, 28th September-1st October 2017
Testa, A. and Sergi, A. (2018-hardback).Corruption, Mafia Power and Italian Soccer. Routledge. Whilst corruption and organized crime have been widely researched, they have not yet been specifically linked to sport, Corruption, Mafia Power and Italian Soccer offers an original insight into this new research area; the book demonstrates that corruption and the mafia presence in Italian soccer reflect the Italian socio-political and economic system itself. Supported by interviews with security agency officials, anti-corruption organisations and anti-mafia organisations, and analysing empirical data obtained from a case study of ‘Operation Dirty Soccer’, this important study explains why mafia groups are involved in soccer, what the links are to political corruption, and what might be done to control the problem. It also examines the mechanisms that make it possible for mafia groups and affiliates to enter the football industry and discusses how mafia groups exploit and corrupt Italian football. The book was supported by:
- Autorita’ Nazionale Anticorruzione (Italian Anti-Corruption Authority–ANAC);
- The Italian Ministry of the Interior;
- The Italian Police;
- Direzione Investigativa Antimafia (Antimafia Investigative Directorate) and other Italian security agencies (Carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza); they are the model for excellent practice in Europe in the prevention and fight against organised crime;
- Direzione Distrettuale Antimafia (DDA, Antimafia District Directorate) in the city of Catanzaro, Calabria, Italy;
- The Antimafia prosecutor offices in Catania, Sicily; Rome and Turin;
- ROS (Special Unit for Organised Crime within the Carabinieri force);
- Direzione Centrale Anticrimine, Servizio Operativo Centrale–Polizia di Stato;
- Kriminalhauptkommissar of the Landeskriminalamt Baden-Württemberg, Italienische Organisierte Kriminalität (Germany State Police);
- Deutsch-französische Polizei unit- und Zollzusammenarbeit Landeskriminalamt Baden-Württemberg (Germany State Police);
- Transparency International Italia;
- Lega Calcio Serie B;
- Libera (the Italian Antimafia Association).
Testa, A. and Amara, M. (2015 and 2016). Sport in Islam and in Muslim Communities. Routledge.
As Islam’s visibility in global society increases, Muslim populations grow, and Muslim countries compete to take up positions at the heart of global sport, the interplay between sport and Islam becomes ever more illuminating. Sport in Islam and in Muslim Communities is the first book to analyse this relationship through a pluralist lens, exploring the questions it raises about contemporary Islam, globalisation, and the challenges faced by (in particular young) Muslims in negotiating their place in global society.
With contributions from Muslim and non-Muslim authors, the book approaches an array of contemporary issues, from the role of sport in gender, youth and political identities in Islam and Muslim societies to sport policy in Muslim countries, sport’s role among Muslim minorities and sport marketing’s relationship to Muslim cultures.
Drawing on sociology, anthropology, political science, Islamic studies and sport studies, Sport in Islam and in Muslim Communities not only examines the significance of sport in Islam, but helps to draw wider conclusions on religious identity in sporting settings and the interplay between sport, gender, political ideology and consumer culture.
Sport in Islam and in Muslim Communities (Routledge) has been:
- selected by the Olympic Studies Center to be included in the Olympic World Library catalogue http://amzn.to/2fAYHU4
- selected by the prestigious Stanford University to be included in its library
Testa, A. and Armstrong, G. (2010). Football, Fascism and Fandom: The UltraS of Italian football. A and C Black Publishers Ltd
Passionate, political and principled, the UltraS are the hardcore subculture of football supporters found in the stadiums of Italy. Amongst the most committed and uncompromising are two such groups who gather in support of the main football clubs of Rome – AS Roma and SS Lazio. Openly proclaiming neo-fascist sympathies, and not afraid of violence against rival supporters and police, these groups (the Boys Roma and the Lazio Irriducibili) are well-organised and determined to bring about social and political change and stamp out those who oppose them. The much-maligned football hooligans of England pale by comparison.
Following years of research involving individuals inside these organisations, and drawing on exclusive interviews with each group’s leading figures, Alberto Testa and Gary Armstrong present a fascinating account of the world of the neo-fascist UltraS.
Selected Peer Reviewed Papers
Testa, A. (2018).The All-Seeing Eye of State Surveillance in the Italian Football (Soccer) Terraces: The Case Study of the Football Fan Card. Surveillance and Society, 16 (1): 69-83. Click for the article
Spaaiji, R. Testa, A. (2016). Hooliganism. In: Hughson, J.; Maguire, J.;Moore, K.& Spaaij,R. eds. Routledge Handbook of Football Studies. London : Routledge
Testa. A. (2013). Normalization of the Exception: Issues and Controversies of the Italian Counter-hooliganism Legislation. Sport in Society. 16, (2): 151-166
Testa. A. (2012). La corsa di Maometto.Le problematiche dello sport moderno secondo la Shari’a. Lancillotto e Nausica.
Testa, A. and Armstrong, G. (2012).The Articulations of the True Believers: Football and Neo-Fascism in the Eternal City. Journal of Mediterranean Studies 21 (1) : 25- 52
Testa, A. and Armstrong, G. (2012) . The UltraS: the extreme right in contemporary Italian football. In: Mammone, A., Godin, E. and Jenkins, B. eds. Varieties of Right-Wing Extremism in Contemporary Europe. Oxford : Routledge Chapter 17
Beginning with an analysis of the complex relationship between fascism and the post-war extreme right, the book discusses both contemporary parties and the cultural and intellectual influences of the European New Right as well as patterns of socialization and mobilization. It then analyses the effects of a range of factors on the ideological development of right-wing extremism including anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, religious extremism and the approach towards Europe (and the European Union).The final sections investigate a number of activist manifestations of the extreme right from youth participation and the white power music scene to transnational rallies, the Internet and football hooliganism. In the process, the book questions the notion that the contemporary extreme right is either completely novel or fully populist in character.
Testa, A. (2012) Bare Sovereignty, the football banning order and the Italian football Fan. In: Mastrogiannakis, D. and Dorville, C. eds. Risk Management and Sport Events.. Paris- France : Le Manuscrit 87- 107
Réflexions critiques portant sur les manières d’administrer la sécurité durant les événements sportifs. Elles éclairent les dispositifs légaux, les pratiques de surveillance, d’encadrement des populations et d’organisation de l’espace, les processus d’anticipation des risques.
Testa, A. and Armstrong, G. (2012).“We Are Against Islam!” The Lega Nord and the Islamic Folk Devil, Sage Open 2 (4)
Testa, A. (2011). Experiences of Online Learning: An evaluation of first-year Sport Sciences University students’ attitudes towards the use of U-Link, International Education Studies 4,(4) : 13- 21
Testa, A. (2011). Bosman Ruling. In: Sports Around The World: History, Culture and Practice. Santa Barbara, CA : ABC-CLIO
For billions of sports fans across all countries and ethnicities around the globe, sports aren’t merely a “hobby” or a “pastime.” The passion these individuals have for their sport of choice goes beyond mere interest; in many cases, aside from their direct family, sports constitute the most important aspect of their lives.
Testa, A. (2010). Contested meanings: The Italian media and the UltraS, Review of European Studies 2 (1) : 15- 24
Testa, A. and Armstrong, G. (2010). Purity and Danger: Policing the Italian Neo-Fascist Football UltraS, Criminal Justice Studies: A Critical Journal of Crime, Law and Society 23 (3) : 219- 237
Testa, A. (2009) . The UltraS: an emerging social movement, Review of European Studies 1 (2) : 54- 63
Testa, A. and Armstrong, G. (2008). Words and actions: Italian ultras and neo-fascism, Social Identities 14 (4) : 473- 490
(2015) Testa. A. Holding police accountable: a comparative analysis of the Italian and United Kingdom police accountability strategies Annual Conference of the European Group for the Study of Deviance & Social Control. University of Tartu, Estonia.
(September 2014) Testa.A., Bio power, Surveillance and State of Exception within the Italian football stadia: The fans’ card case. ‘Resisting the demonisation of ‘the Other’: State, nationalism and social control in a time of crisis’ Annual Conference of the European Group for the Study of Deviance & Social Control. Liverpool, UK.
(October 2012) Testa.A., Practicing’ Sociology and the Italian Muslim Youth: Context and strategies. ‘Applied and Clinical Sociology: Doing It Our Way!’. 2012 Annual Conference of the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
(2011) Testa, A., The normalization of the exception: Issues and controversies of the Italian counter hooliganism model, 13th Annual Conference on Global Sociology for a Global World
(2010) Testa, A., Using Moral panic to shape the Padania Identity: the Italian Lega Nord and the Islam Invasion, Moral Panics in the Contemporary World. International Sociological Conference
(2010) Testa, A., Getting off on the wrong foot can doom a relationship before it begins: An evaluation of first year sport sciences university students’ attitudes towards the use of the online virtual learning system, 9th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Social Sciences
(2009) Testa, A., The importance of ethnography in making sense of sport, 16th Erasmus-Socrates Sociology Intensive Course
(2007) Testa, A., Revolution from the right? Neo-Fascism in the 21st century Italian football stadia and society, Local Sport in Europe. Proceedings of the 4th EASS Conference of the European Association for the Sociology of Sport., In D. Jutting, B. Schulze and U. Muller (Eds) 142- 144
(2006) Testa, A., The Italian ultras and nationalism. Sport, Nation and Nationalism, Proceedings of 3S International Conference on Social Science in Sport and 8th ISHPES Seminar. (International Society for the History of Physical Education and Sport and the International Sociology of Sport Association)