The Rise of Kleptocracy: Autocrats versus Activists in Africa

Issue Date January 2018
Volume 29
Issue 1
Page Numbers 54-68
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The battle lines that currently animate politics in Central Africa’s autocracies reach well beyond these countries’ borders. As Western governments proved their willingness to sanction human rights abuses, Central Africa’s autocrats sought to inoculate themselves by using their governments’ financial resources to capture policy makers abroad. For recourse, citizens and diaspora communities turned to international judicial institutions, which they viewed—rightly, it turns out—as less susceptible to capture. In response, Central Africa’s autocrats have developed new tools of survival. They have launched strikingly professional “image laundering” campaigns, a sustained assault on international law, and private financial institutions that enable sophisticated money laundering.

About the Author

Brett L. Carter is assistant professor in the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. 

View all work by Brett L. Carter