Kleptocrats increasingly weaponizing corrupt networks


After Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, kleptocrats are increasingly weaponizing corrupt networks, relying on opaque shell companies, and turning to professional enabling services to allow them to continue their theft, despite recent restrictions placed on them, says the International Forum for Democratic Studies. As authoritarian actors adapt to the changing landscape, democracies must also elevate the issue of fighting kleptocracy to other pressing national security threats and adapt accordingly.

Rui Santos Verde’s Angola at the Crossroads: Between Kleptocracy and Development offers a well-informed political history of Angola since 2010, examining how João Lourenço’s government is making a limited but significant attempt to address the massive corruption that has long characterized the country, and has begun a tentative process of political liberalization, writes for Foreign Affairs

NED’s Forum hosts a discussion on “Kleptocratic Adaptation: Next Steps in the Battle Against Kleptocracy,” with Jodi Vittori and Matthew Page and comments from Larry Diamond. The discussion builds on a forthcoming Forum report, “Kleptocratic Adaptation: Next Steps in the Battle Against Kleptocracy

Matthew T. Page is a nonresident scholar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, associate fellow at Chatham House, and nonresident fellow with the Centre for Democracy and Development in Nigeria.  

Jodi Vittori is an expert on the linkages of corruption, state fragility, illicit finance, and U.S. national security. She is Professor of Practice and co-chair of the Global Politics and Security program at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and a non-resident fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  

Larry Diamond is the William L. Clayton Senior Fellow at Stanford University, where he is also Mosbacher Senior Fellow in Global Democracy at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He is also a founding coeditor of the Journal of Democracy, and he served at its helm (with Marc F. Plattner) for over thirty years.  

Friday, January 20, 2023. 1:00 – 2:30 pm EDT RSVP

(view the start time in your location)

This webinar discussion will be held virtually via NED’s YouTube channel. All participants must register in advance to attend and will receive login instructions by email prior to the event.

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