The history of sport in socialist Yugoslavia is a peculiar lens through which to examine the country’s social, cultural and political transformations. Sport is represented as one of the most popular and engaging cultural phenomena of social life. Sport both embodied the social dynamics of the socialist period as well as revealing questions of the everyday lives of the Yugoslav people. Ultimately, sport was closely intertwined with the country’s overall destiny. This volume offers an introduction into the myriad social functions that sport served in the Yugoslav socialist project. It illustrates how sport was central to the establishment of Yugoslavia’s physical and leisure culture in the early post-Second World War period, an international promotional tool for Yugoslav communists championing the ideological superiority of the ‘Brotherhood and Unity’ and the Non-Aligned Movement, as well as a social field in which the ideological contradictions of Yugoslav socialism became increasingly apparent. The chapters expand the existing knowledge of the processes that defined Yugoslav sport and contribute to a more nuanced understanding of socialist Yugoslavia in the years between 1945 and 1991.
This book was originally published as a special issue of The International Journal of the History of Sport.