When institutions are strong, citizens demand rights; when institutions are weak, citizens beg for favors.
In many countries today, governments are designed not to govern but to serve the personal enrichment of ruling elites. Under such kleptocratic systems those in power do not exercise the functions of state but concentrate instead on extracting resources for personal gain. For such regimes, governing is just a front activity.
Kleptocracy is a major factor fuelling instability across North Africa and the Middle East, and is a major cause of the rise of Islamic extremism across the region. Continue reading