The inflation and burst of Egypt’s emotional-political football bubble

A seminar with Postdoctoral Researcher Carl Rommel, University of Helsinki.

Free admission and open to all.

This presentation traces developments within Egyptian football, from the late-Mubarak era, when the sport experienced an unprecedented boom, into the post-2011 period, when the game has lost much of its former appeal. Conceptualising the pre-revolutionary hype as ‘bubble’ encompassing state investments, satellite television, pop cultural productions and great results on the pitch, I illustrate how and why football became a core component of the Mubarak-regime’s soft power. The talk also outlines how and why the football bubble broke apart between 2009 and 2012. All in all, the presentation suggests an alternative, emotional-political reading of Egypt’s (counter-)revolutionary transformation, which locates the national game at the very centre.


Carl Rommel is a social anthropologist, who earned his PhD from SOAS, University of London, in 2015. His PhD dissertation explored the emotional politics of Egyptian football before and after 2011. Currently, Rommel holds a postdoctoral research position at the University of Helsinki. His ongoing field research in Cairo interrogates intersections between precarity, masculinity, temporality and urban space in, around and through a variety of large and small ‘projects’ (mashari‘).



If you have any questions concerning the seminar, please contact our CIMS coordinator, Alexandra H. Koritzinsky, either by email:, or at: (+47) 957 21 103.

Published May 6, 2019 10:06 PM - Last modified Mar. 17, 2022 1:12 PM