FIFA World Cup: why democracies excel


As with past World Cups, there is evidence this year that successful teams are more likely to emerge from democratic countries than authoritarian states, notes Margaret Marshall, a Program Officer with Freedom House. States with higher scores in Freedom House’s Freedom in the World report also tend to have better rankings from FIFA, the international soccer federation, she writes:

It remains unclear what exactly gives democracies an edge, but democratic governance lends itself to open, rules-based competition that produces better and more stable outcomes, allowing citizens to flourish with minimal state control. By contrast, authoritarian governance features unscrupulous concentration of power, poor allocation of resources, and weak, dysfunctional institutions, which can tilt the playing field in both politics and business.


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