Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Diane Rehm: "Thieves Of State." Is Corruption At The Heart Of Global Chaos?

Afghan policemen search a car at a checkpoint in Kabul on November 18, 2013.
Afghan policemen search a car at a checkpoint in Kabul on November 18, 2013. 
Alan: Sarah Chayes' 10 year experience living and working in Taliban Afghanistan lends great credibility to her keen observations.  To paraphrase one insight: 'When people are on the receiving end of persistent, pervasive corruption, they easily believe the fundamentalist claim that absolute religious purity will remedy all ills."

Sarah Chayes: “Thieves Of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security”

Sarah Chayes arrived in Afghanistan as a journalist. But the rampant corruption she encountered there drove her to stay for years afterward, fighting for change. Corruption touched every corner of daily life in the country; from crossing police checkpoints to paying utility bills, a bribe was required to accomplish almost anything. This was breeding deep anger and resentment in the Afghan people, Chayes discovered. And now the foreign policy expert has an urgent warning based on what she’s learned: Corruption can plant the seeds of violent religious extremism – and it’s happening worldwide. We discuss how political corruption threatens global security, and what can be done.


  • Sarah Chayes senior associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Former NPR correspondent; founder of Arghand Cooperative, Afghanistan
Read an Excerpt:

Excerpted from Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security by Sarah Chayes. Copyright © 2015 by Sarah Chayes. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

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