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Sarah Chayes and Luke Harding, with Oliver Bullough

Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security

Hay Festival 2016, 

The world is blowing up. Every day a new blaze seems to ignite: the bloody implosion of Iraq and Syria; the East-West standoff in Ukraine; abducted schoolgirls in Nigeria. Is there some thread tying these frightening international security crises together? In a riveting account that weaves history with fast-moving reportage and insider accounts from the Afghanistan war, Sarah Chayes identifies the unexpected link: corruption. Since the late 1990s, corruption has reached such an extent that some governments resemble glorified criminal gangs, bent solely on their own enrichment. These kleptocrats drive indignant populations to extremes-ranging from revolution to militant puritanical religion. Chayes is a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the author of The Punishment of Virtue. Harding is the author of A Very Expensive Poison [see event 83] and one of the journalists on the Panama Papers story. They talk to Oliver Bullough, Orwell Prize shortlisted author of Let Our Fame Be Great and the writer and presenter of the film about Ukranian corruption Bloody Money [see event 443].

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Sarah Chayes and Luke Harding, with Oliver Bullough