The American Interest
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Democracy and the World Cup

The World Cup might be more than just a celebration of jogo bonito, “the beautiful game.”

Published on June 12, 2014
The 2014 World Cup is about to begin. From today, June 12, to July 13, two or three times a day, for ninety minutes at a time, an estimated 3.5 billion soccer fans will be glued to their television screens enjoying the sort of soccer extravaganza that only the World Cup can offer. For the non-soccer fans (that is, roughly the remaining 50 percent of the world’s population, including many Americans), it will be right there in their faces, like a drunken brother-in-law cornering them at a wedding and blocking off every avenue of escape. Brazil 2014 will be...