Some nations fail due to the prolonged war. Like that of Afghanistan and Sierra Leone where the entire structure of state institutions falls to pieces. Other nations collapse slowly but surely because they don’t utilize their society’s capabilities. This state failure leads towards a low standard of living. Surprisingly, the impending collapse is predetermined since these states are run by ‘extractive’ economic institutions, whose job is to accrue profit for themselves and not for others. Here are seven reasons why nations fail.Asymmetrical playing fieldOne of the fundamental reasons for any nation’s failing is its lopsided, biased playing field for its general population. The prevalence of one group of people and the outright neglect of the other by state institutions creates injustice and widespread poverty. The South-African “color bar”, in this case, prevented black people from all types of skilled jobs from 1905 to 1980s. What resulted from it? The majority of the South-African populace was left with no option but to work in unskilled jobs like mining and agriculture. As a result of it, poverty soared immensely and obviously. But since apartheid ended, South Africa is on the upward track of economic progress. Powerful person’s greed The control of the economy by a few powerful elites often steers the monopoly of the whole market. And monopoly leads to the exploitation of the common people. To illustrate, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt during his decades-old reign has worked on the principle of the market’s monopolization. According to some, nearly 40 percent of the economy was owned by the government and military combine. Even the privatization of the economy was done to favor closed ones. This monopoly of the market has restricted Egyptians of various opportunities to escape poverty. No property rights Where states own every bit of the land, capital and its people own little or nothing, such institutional measures are bound to carry a nation’s fate to the ultimate failure. People don’t have property ownership rights, only the government does; thereby shattering the confidence of the citizenry to prosper and succeed. One case in point is North Korea. Its population is without proper property rights. People serve the ruling party; they toil for the state and not themselves. The result is that today North Korea has a deteriorating economy with its people lagging far behind to the South Koreans in prosperity which has a flourishing economy and high living standards.Unfree laborProgress of a country is hindered because of its population’s forced labor. Where people are chained of bonded work, the country suffers the consequences of poverty and backwardness. In Uzbekistan, for instance, children are recruited by teachers to harvest the cotton crop forcefully. Rather than going to school, children are coerced into labor. What possible good a country can achieve by ruining the future of its generations? Probably none!Absence of a Centralized stateThe economy can neither survive without a centralized state nor with a fragile central state. The country simply fails when no central state is in place; because the absence of a powerful central government spearheads uncontrolled chaos into the country. The prime examples are Somalia and South Sudan. Although both are internationally recognized yet both wield little or no power beyond their capital. Besides no nation survives without a growing economy because the growth of an economy depends on the uplift of rule and law, which comes with a strong central state.Inferior Public servicesThe presence of poor public services put any country onto a path of destruction. The shoddy infrastructure of roads, health, and education among others incite poverty and oppose development. For instance, the two Peru provinces that are Calca and Acomayo are near-identical in its population, crops, and topography but different in the standards of living. Acomayo is impoverished than Calca. The only possible reason is the contrast between their infrastructures. As the roads leading to Calca are paved while those of Acomayo are in utter dilapidation. So, poor services deprive people of their fundamental rights.Public exploitationExtractive institutions always exploit people by playing to the gallery. The political exploitation of people continuously increases their afflictions. And the change of mere faces (politicians) does nothing but enhance the pace of ‘their’ being more exploitative. Robert Michel – German sociologist – rightly called it “iron law of oligarchy”. Also, it encourages new elites to take over the charge by toppling the old ones; thus an unending game of utilizing the spoils of war.The writer is an MSc Defense and Strategic Studies graduate from Quaid-I-Azam University.