Winner of the 2015 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest. "I can’t imagine a more important book for our time." —Sebastian Junger 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 plunges readers into some of the most venal environments on earth and examines what emerges: Afghans returning to the Taliban, Egyptians overthrowing the Mubarak government (but also redesigning Al-Qaeda), and Nigerians embracing both radical evangelical Christianity and the Islamist terror group Boko Haram. In many such places, rigid moral codes are put forth as an antidote to the collapse of public integrity. The pattern, moreover, pervades history. Through deep archival research, Chayes reveals that canonical political thinkers such as John Locke and Machiavelli, as well as the great medieval Islamic statesman Nizam al-Mulk, all named corruption as a threat to the realm. In a thrilling argument connecting the Protestant Reformation to the Arab Spring, Thieves of State presents a powerful new way to understand global extremism. And it makes a compelling case that we must confront corruption, for it is a cause—not a result—of global instability.
EBOOK EDITION WITH A NEW PREFACE What happens when the War on Terror media circus packs up and leaves town? Sarah Chayes spent six years in Afghanistan in order to find out. Living in the old capital, Kandahar, dressing like a man and befriending the heroic Chief of Police, Akrem, she gained unparalleled access to tribal leaders, cunning warlords, jihadist insurgents and opium traders, as well as politicians, security chiefs and Pakistani Intelligence agents - all contending for power in this uniquely strategic place at a pivotal moment in its history. Hers is an urgent book, and a mesmerizingly readable story.
In most societies, courts are where the rubber of government meets the road of the people. If a state cannot settle disputes and ensure that its decisions are carried out, for practical purposes it is no longer in charge. This is why successful rebels put courts and justice at the top of their agendas. Rebel Law examines this key weapon in the armory of insurgent groups, ranging from the Ireland of the 1920s, where the IRA sapped British power using 'Republican Tribunals' to today's 'Caliphate of Law' - the Islamic State, by way of Algeria in the 1950s and the Afghan Taliban. Frank Ledwidge tells how insurgent courts bleed legitimacy from government, decide cases and enforce judgments on the battlefield itself. Astute counterinsurgents, especially in "ungoverned space," can ensure that they retain the initiative. The book describes French, Turkish and British colonial "judicial strategy" and contrasts their experience with the chaos of more recent "stabilization operations" in Iraq and Afghanistan, drawing lessons for contemporary counterinsurgents. Rebel Law builds on his insights and shows that the courts themselves can be used as weapons for both sides in highly unconventional warfare.
Governance for Peace presents a comprehensive analysis of the dimensions of governance that are most likely to prevent armed conflict and foster sustainable peace. It is an accessible study written for the general reader that brings together the best empirical evidence across numerous disciplines showing how effective governance and inclusive, participatory, and accountable institutions help to reduce violence by addressing social needs and providing mechanisms for resolving disputes. This balanced and incisive book gives meaning to the term 'good governance' and identifies the specific features of political and economic institutions that are most likely to promote peace within and between states. Concepts and topics examined in the book include political legitimacy, human security, 'political goods', governance and power, inclusion, accountability, social cohesion, gender equality, countering corruption, the role of civil society, democratic participation, development as freedom, capitalism and economic growth, the governance of markets, China and the 'East Asian peace', the European Union, and global institutions.
In Corruption and Targeted Sanctions, Anton Moiseienko analyses the blacklisting of foreigners suspected of corruption and the prohibition of their entry into the sanctioning state from an international law perspective. The implications of such actions have gained prominence with the increased adoption of the so-called Magnitsky legislation internationally.
Unlike much of the existing literature on organised crime, this book is less focused on the problem per se as it is on understanding its implications. The latter, especially in fragile and conflict regions, amount to strategic challenges for the state. Whereas most commentators would agree that criminal activities are harmful, this volume addresses the questions of ‘how?’, ‘for whom?’ and, controversially, ‘are they always harmful?’ The volume is authored by experts with multi-year experience analysing criminal and other non-state activities. They do so through different lenses - conflict and security, development, and technology - engaging academics, practitioners and policy makers. They offer a comprehensive integrated response to the challenges of transnational organised crime beyond traditional law-enforcement driven recommendations.
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