University of Würzburg: Prominent Researcher Joins the University

James M. Dorsey is a man of international standing: a scholar, journalist, blogger and resident senior fellow at the internationally-acclaimed S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore.  He is joining the University of Würzburg as a non-resident visiting fellow at its Institute of Sport Science and non-resident Co-Director of the Institute for Fan Culture in Würzburg and Cologne.

Dorsey’s studies and reporting range broadly with a focus on ethnic and religious conflict in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.  He is a much sought-after speaker at international economic, military, political and sport science conference. He is widely acknowledged as an expert on global water distribution issues and deeply involved in researching the nexus between soccer, society and politics. Dorsey is a widely published author in prestigious academic and mainstream journals, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the Financial Times, and was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the prestigious US award for outstanding achievement in journalism. He is currently a finalist for the European Press Prize.

Dorsey’s varied experience will benefit the University of Würzburg and the Institute of Fan Culture that was founded last year by Professor Harald Lange in cooperation with scientists from Cologne. The institute provides a platform for empirical, interdisciplinary research into soccer fan culture. It brings together sociologists, political scientists, criminologists, social psychologists, economists, legal scholars, ethnologists and historians – and last but not least, soccer fans. Dorsey’s association springs from a long exchange of academic views with Lange as well as several presentations he made at the University of Würzburg.

“This is an important step towards internationalization of the institute," Lange said. He noted that Dorsey’s association followed last year’s signing of an agreement on a cooperative research project between the institute and the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) in Qatar.

The institute is planning several third-party funded research projects in cooperation with some of the world’s foremost institutions of academic learning including RSIS that will involve international and German fan culture in soccer stadiums and focus on the relationship between sport and society.  This is a subject Dorsey discusses in detail in his popular blog "The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer" and is the theme of a book to be published late this year by Hurst Publishing Co and Oxford University Press.

Lange said Dorsey’s association would help “internationalize the institute and offer fresh perspectives and points of view in its research.” He said Dorsey would contribute to “promoting young researchers at the university” and enable it to establish a global research network.

Dorsey expressed confidence in the institute’s potential to position itself as a global center of knowledge. "The institute’s interdisciplinary approach and network coupled with the fact that it is the world’s only academic research institution focused on fan culture positions it as an international scholarly and policy institution,” Dorsey said.

For further information, plesae contact Prof. Dr. Harald Lange, T: +49 (0)931 31-80283, email:

James Dorsey (photo: private)


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