Author Archives: Laurent Dubois

About Laurent Dubois

I am Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History at Duke University. A specialist on the history and culture of France and the Caribbean, notably Haiti, I am the author of Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France. I founded the Soccer Politics blog in the Fall of 2009 as part of a Duke University course called "World Cup and World Politics," whose students helped me develop the site.


France, happily (for me at least) continued it’s strong run in Euro qualifiers with a convincing victory over Luxembourg, which is reassuring since the team has a bit of tradition of wasting such games with draws. The first goal by Benzema was a beauty.

“The Referee” by Mattias Low

Swedish director Mattias Löw, of the production company Freedom From Choice, shared with me a short documentary called “The Referee,” about the unfortunate Martin Hannson, who officiated the France-Ireland qualifier last fall and failed to call Thierry Henry’s decisive handball. I wrote about the case here at the time, and later did penance for the… Read More »

Temples of the Earthbound Gods

The Football Scholars forum, organized by Alex Galarza at Michigan State University, recently hosted a discussion with Chris Gaffney about his marvelous book on stadia in Latin America. You can read about the event and request access to the audio recording here. Later in the semester look for discussions with David Goldblatt on his magisterial… Read More »

World Cup Memories

Wayne Norman has posted a nice collection of quotes looking back at the 2010 World Cup and it’s impact here at his blog, This Sporting Life — and I’m not just saying that because he quotes me… If anyone has seen other interesting reflections on the event please share them!

This Sporting Life

My colleague at Duke University, Wayne Norman, has written some great material reflecting on the place of soccer in the U.S., available here. Peter Alegi, meanwhile, offers up this nice ode to the recent World Cup, via the blog Football is Coming Home:

This Time for South Africa

Marcus Gilroy-Ware, who I went to several games with in South Africa, has produced this interesting short video about South African perspectives on the recent World Cup, featuring Achille Mbembe and Sarah Nutall (Visiting Professors at Duke this coming fall) among others. I also published a set of final reflections on the World Cup, with… Read More »


Two days after the World Cup final, the whole event seems slightly surreal. I’m returning from South Africa today, having survived on my last day here a gauntlet of baboons and a march up a gorgeous mountain, after arriving on the 26th of June just in time to see Ghana beat the U.S. I’ve had… Read More »