6. Somalia: No law and order
One must-have for successful economies is an effective centralized state. Without this, there is no hope of providing order, an effective system of laws, mechanisms for resolving disputes, or basic public goods.
Yet large parts of the world today are still dominated by stateless societies. Although countries like Somalia or the new country of South Sudan do have internationally recognized governments, they exercise little power outside their capitals, and maybe not even there. Both countries have been built atop societies that historically never created a centralized state but were divided into clans where decisions were made by consensus among adult males. No clan was ever able to dominate or create a set of nationally respected laws or rules. There were no political positions, no administrators, no taxes, no government expenditures, no police, no lawyers -- in other words, no government.
This situation persisted during the colonial period in Somalia, when the British were unable even to collect poll taxes, the usual fiscal basis for their African colonies. Since independence in 1960, attempts have been made to create an effective central state, for example, during the dictatorship of Mohamed Siad Barre, but after more than five decades it's fair and even obvious to say they have failed. Call it Somalia's law: Without a central state, there can be no law and order; without law and order, there can be no real economy; and without a real economy, a country is doomed to fail.