The ultras reflect a paradox in contemporary football. On the one hand, increasingly commercial clubs enjoy the passion, colour and spectacle that the ultras provide through their performances and this helps market their clubs. On the other, clubs and authorities seek to regulate certain aspects of ultras’ behaviour, including violence, anti-social chanting, use of pyrotechnics and anything that challenges their power. This conflict unifies and emotionally sustains the ultras and provides a critical focus for their activities. These emotions fuel the politics of the social movement of Against Modern Football. In effect, it creates what Albert Camus called a ‘fatal embrace’ where both sides are incapable of uniting and are willing to fight until the end.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book shows the undeniable contribution and the limits of the biopower theory in the understanding of dead bodies en masse. It talks about the fact that criminology has for so long ignored mass crime, even though the link between the corpse and the criminal is one of the fundamentals of the discipline. The book addresses the issue of the practical and symbolic treatment of corpses by societies affected by mass violence. It shows how working ideologies along with historical legacy and geographical landscapes determined the disposal of the bodies. The book examines the simultaneously diplomatic and medicolegal nature of the activities of the French Search Commission for Corpses of Deportees in Germany. It also draws on German archives to describe the various modalities of treatment of corpses in Croatia.