Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How Can FIFA be Held Accountable?

I have just put the finishing touches on the revision to my paper, "How Can FIFA be Held Accountable?". It comes in at 10,300+ words, and there was a lot left unsaid. The paper was about 18 months in preparation and benefited from many helpful comments, including detailed comments from 2 reviewers, making me very impressed with SMR.

The paper will soon appear in the peer-reviewed journal Sport Management Review. Here is the abstract:
Abstract. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA, is a non-governmental organization located in Switzerland that is responsible for overseeing the quadrennial World Cup football (soccer) competition in addition to its jurisdiction over other various international competitions and aspects of international football. The organization, long accused of corruption, has in recent years been increasing criticized by observers and stakeholders for its lack of transparency and accountability. In 2011 FIFA initiated a governance reform process which will come to a close in May, 2013. This paper draws on literature in the field of international relations to ask and answer the question: how can FIFA be held accountable? The paper’s review finds that the answer to this question is “not easily.” The experience in reforming the International Olympic Committee (IOC) more than a decade ago provides one model for how reform might occur in FIFA. However, any effective reform will require the successful and simultaneous application of multiple mechanisms of accountability. The FIFA case study has broader implications for understanding mechanisms of accountability more generally, especially as related to international non-governmental organizations.
I am happy to share a pre-page proof copy with anyone who is interested -- just drop me an email. If you have seen an earlier version there are some small changes and the paper has been brought up-to-date. But the bottom line remains the same. In answer to the question posed by the title, the answer is:

Not easily.


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