Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security

Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security

Sarah Chayes


Winner of the 2015 Los Angeles Times booklet Prize for present Interest.

"I can’t think a extra very important publication for our time." ―Sebastian Junger

The international is blowing up. on a daily basis a brand new blaze turns out to ignite: the bloody implosion of Iraq and Syria; the East-West standoff in Ukraine; kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria. Is there a few thread tying those scary foreign safety crises jointly? In a riveting account that weaves heritage with fast-moving reportage and insider money owed from the Afghanistan conflict, Sarah Chayes identifies the unforeseen hyperlink: corruption.

Since the overdue Nineties, corruption has reached such an volume that a few governments resemble glorified legal gangs, bent exclusively all alone enrichment. those kleptocrats force offended populations to extremes―ranging from revolution to militant puritanical faith. Chayes plunges readers into probably the most venal environments in the world and examines what emerges: Afghans returning to the Taliban, Egyptians overthrowing the Mubarak executive (but additionally remodeling Al-Qaeda), and Nigerians embracing either radical evangelical Christianity and the Islamist terror workforce Boko Haram. in lots of such areas, inflexible ethical codes are positioned forth as an antidote to the cave in of public integrity.

The development, in addition, pervades heritage. via deep archival study, Chayes unearths that canonical political thinkers resembling John Locke and Machiavelli, in addition to the good medieval Islamic statesman Nizam al-Mulk, all named corruption as a chance to the world. In an exhilarating argument connecting the Protestant Reformation to the Arab Spring, Thieves of State offers a strong new option to comprehend worldwide extremism. And it makes a compelling case that we needs to confront corruption, for it's a cause―not a result―of international instability.

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