Intellectuals and warriors: The ideological and political basis of Francoist University sport, 1933-1946

Raquel Mirabet, Xavier Pujadas

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Examining the use of sport by totalitarian regimes during the interbellum period reveals that politicians saw the potential of sport not only for patriotic expression and international exhibition but also as a means to exert control over youth. Francoism participated in such uses of sport, imitating German and Italian organizations’ development of a youth sport structure. The Franco regime emphasized sport in universities to the extent that it made physical education a required subject to obtain a degree. This study’s primary objective is to reconstruct the doctrinal genesis of Francoist university sport, tracing it to the years before the Spanish Civil War, specifically noting the international influences that sustained it and the draft regulations that gave it legal standing despite resistance from both university youth and from sport. To this end, documentary sources are analyzed, including archival material, printed sources (legal decrees written during the period examined in this study and historical accounts of the subject), publications of Falange and related organizations, and speeches and proclamations from Falange and the Sindicato Espa~nol Universitario (SEU).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1176-1197
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of the History of Sport
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2018


  • Francoism
  • Physical education
  • Spain
  • Sport and authoritarianism
  • University sport


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