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NetzwerkPrävention im Fußball – Joint Prevention Strategies of the Network Partners from the First to the Third League

The study "NetzwerkPrävention im Fußball" of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam investigates the status, development potentials and obstacles of network formation to reduce violence among or with fan groups in professional football.

Strahlendes Flutlicht vor dunklem Hintergrund
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Cooperation project

Our research project aims to analyse similarities and differences in the views and strategies of groups of actors (social work, police, clubs, fans) with regard to fans, fan culture and security and law and order measures. Despite the increasing specialisation and professionalisation of all groups of actors in this field, it is not uncommon for criticism to be formulated of the behaviour of the others. In the meantime, encounters and dialogues between the groups of actors have become institutionalised and regionally also successful, but they are often only about a mere exchange of information. Therefore, the aim of the study is to develop application-related recommendations for joint prevention strategies that contribute to an improved understanding between the actors in professional football and thus to a reduction of violent conflicts.

The research project is part of the FußballFanStudie, which is linked by a joint research umbrella of the University of Bielefeld, the University of Kassel and the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. The Bielefeld Fan Study of the University of Bielefeld researches fan groups with regard to fan cultures, fan identities and conflicts; forms of self-regulation by fan groups are the focus of the University of Kassel.


Following the theory of professional paradoxes by Schütze (2000), we assume that specialised prevention measures can unintentionally lead to counterproductive reactions of the respective other groups of actors in the field. In addition, conflicts in the field are interpreted differently based on different experiences and professional knowledge. The people are subject to different function and role descriptions that shape their behaviour. When changes occur in the field, these affect the whole field and thus influence the positions and roles of all groups of the involved.
According to Mead (1934/1968), this amounts to a balancing act between social identity and personal needs, which leads to the fact that individual behaviour depends on individual interpretation of what is experienced.


The following questions are of particular concern to us in our research process:

  • What images/expectations shape how the groups of actors view each other?
  • What potential do the groups of actors bring to the network work?
  • Where is there still untapped potential for cooperation?
  • What are the factors that promote or hinder further cooperation?


In order to obtain comprehensive results and assessments of all perspectives of the actors in this field, we rely in the empirical part of the study on a mix of methods consisting of a quantitative survey preceded by a qualitative survey.


Project management

Project management

  • Heinz Joachim de Vries
  • Julia Zeyn