Beyond the Oligarchs

Kleptocratic Capture in Fledgling Democracies

Kleptocracy represents a novel form of governance in which authoritarians weaponize corruption and globalization to amass power and wealth. Kleptocracy poses a threat to democracy globally by exploiting modern day international financial connectivity and rule of law systems abroad to cement authoritarian governance at home. Kleptocrats’ reach is most extreme in resource-rich autocracies; yet the tentacles of kleptocracy are transnational, crossing the borders of democratic systems as well.   

In between autocracy and democratic consolidation, developing or fledgling democracies are permeated by kleptocratic networks in different ways. Based on field research conducted in Central America and South Asia, the policy brief Beyond the Oligarchs: Kleptocratic Capture in Fledgling Democracies identifies common features of kleptocratic governance in consolidating democracies as well as recommendations for international partners working towards supporting anti-kleptocracy reform in those jurisdictions.

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