Corruption: the Unrecognized Global Security Threat



Sarah Chayes, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Date and Time

March 17, 2015 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM


Encina Hall (2nd floor)

This event is offered as a joint sponsorship with the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

About the Topic: Sarah Chayes's book, "Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security," presents an explosive argument: many of today's major world crises -- the ISIS takeover of much of Iraq and Syria, the robust Afghan and Nigerian insurgencies, the Arab Spring and Ukrainian revolutions and their aftermaths -- have their roots in systemic corruption. If this is the case, then the policy priority of addressing corruption must be raised. Rather than a marginal concern to be passed off to development agencies or specialized bureaus, anti-corruption must pervade the conduct of foreign policy. Thieves of State is a riveting book; Chayes will provide a few short readings and reflections on its implications before engaging a conversation with the public. 

About the Speaker: A senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Sarah Chayes served as special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2010 and 2011. She is an expert on kleptocracy and anti-corruption, civil-military relations, and South Asia policy. Chayes joined the Pentagon after 8 years living and working in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and advising the command of the international forces in Afghanistan. Since leaving government, she has been conducting in-depth research on the security implications of acute corruption in such contexts as the insurgencies in Iraq, Syria, South and Central Asia, and Nigeria, and the revolutions of the Arab Spring and Ukraine. Her work has been dubbed "revolutionary" and "a paradigm shift" by senior professionals in foreign and security policy.

More information on the author and on the book can be found here: A basic statement of the argument can be found in this June 6 Carnegie paper, "Corruption: The Unrecognized Threat to International Security." For Sarah's thoughts on the implications for the intelligence community, please read "Corruption: The Priority Intelligence Requirements" in this September 9, 2014 Carnegie publication.

Audio for Sarah Chayes presentation on "Corruption: the Unrecognized Global Security Threat," CISAC/Hoover Library and Archives seminar, 03/17/2015