Friday, March 21, 2008

No Soccer World Cup without the British Empire?

A highly charged debate on the costs and benefits of British Empire;
They'll be discussing whether Britain should apologise and make reparation for its imperial past or glory in it, and asking whether the twenty-first century will see the birth of new empires. Eric Hobsbawm, Niall Ferguson, Robert Beckford, Linda Colley and Priya Gopal


A summary at Chapaty Mystery
Ferguson starts off with arguing that World Cup Football would not be possible without the British Empire. Hobsbawn corrects him. And it goes, well, uphill from there. Ferguson’s shining moment could be when he asserted that the indigenous nationalist struggles, though well-meaning, got nothing done - and that the British Empire chose to give up their empire only because it was drained after fighting the Nazis. Obviously, to those from the colonies - Gopal and Beckford - this was a highly insulting claim. Eric Hobsbawn did have the best lines near the end as he tried to sum-up.

Globalization and the Beautiful Game- Dani Rodrik

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