Articles & Op Eds

BOOK POST

Sarah Chayes on Zephyr Teachout
July 28, 2020
A splendid book about a horrifying current reality: the excessive power of mega-corporations in our society, and how they are turning all of us into their serfs.  And what to do about it. (Book review)
THE ATLANTIC
Look Out, Corruption Ahead
April 17, 2020
As the country mobilizes to address the pandemic, watch for officials and corporate executives attempting to exploit the crisis to enrich themselves. 

THE ATLANTIC

This Is How Kleptocracies Work
February 23, 2020,
Trump’s pardons were shocking to some, but to me they were eerily familiar—straight out of the kleptocratic playbook I’ve studied in a dozen other countries.

BOOK POST

Sarah Chayes on Amaryllis Fox

January 31, 2020 

As good as fiction!  In more ways than one.  (Review of "My Life Undercover."  Subscribe to Book Post for the unabridged version.)

DEFENSE ONE

Russia Is Waging Asymmetric Warfare Against the US — And We’re Letting Them Win

December 18, 2019

Moscow is using the type of tactics I first saw the Taliban master in Afghanistan.

DEFENSE ONE
Best of 2019: Editor’s Choice
Acting DNI Shows Why Generals and Admirals Should Not Become Top Civilians

September 27, 2019

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire got in over his head on the Ukraine whistleblower complaint.  Top brass, especially three-stars, should beware of the lure of senior civilian positions.

THE ATLANTIC
Hunter Biden's Legal, Socially Acceptable Corruption

September 27, 2019
Americans of both parties should stop leveraging their names for payoffs from shady politicians and businessmen -- and the rest of us should stop condoning that business model 

WASHINGTON POST 
Want to Limit Migration? We Can Start by Supporting Democracy in Honduras.
December 5, 2017 (Kendra McSweeney and Sarah Chayes)

The US should not support a rigged presidential election.  Such antics destroy the hopes of Honduran citizens -- and force them to flee a brutal regime. 

 

LOS ANGELES TIMES 
Do Trump’s Foreign Business Entanglements Threaten Our Democracy?
October 17, 2017

The Trump Organization’s continued business dealings with foreign governments, both at home and abroad, challenge the core principles of U.S. democracy.

 
FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Kleptocracy in America

August 15, 2017

Corruption Is Reshaping Governments Everywhere (Review of The Corruption Cure

WASHINGTON POST

A Hidden Cost of Corruption: Environmental Devastation

June 16, 2017 

Honduras offers an example of how corruption devastates landscapes and the environment.

 
BLOOMBERG

Trump and the Path Toward Kleptocracy

May 22, 2017 

The Trump administration, its personnel and early practices, resembles nothing so much as a kleptocratic network of the type seen in many developing countries and post-Soviet states. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES

Why Read a 5-Year-Old Book About ExxonMobil Now? Two Words: Rex Tillerson

January 27, 2017

If you want a deeper understanding of what has been inaugurated in Washington, read Steve Coll's "Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power." (Book review)

FOREIGN POLICY

It Was a Corruption Election. It’s Time We Realized It.

December 6, 2016 

In a country full of sophisticated lawyers and lobbyists and rationalizers, it is now urgent to ask whether Americans still understand what corruption is.  Elites tend to stick to an increasingly narrow technical definition.  Ordinary people know better. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES 

The Marines Are Trying to Expel an Officer Whose Warning Could Have Saved Lives

September 14, 2016

Who we empower and how our allies treat the locals may determine the outcome of the US fight against violent extremism.

UK PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE

Corruption and Terrorism: The Causal Link

May 12, 2016

Governments that ostensibly fight terror may actually generate more dire security crises than they curb as a result of corrupt governance practices. (Chapter in Against Corruption)

DEFENSE ONE

Sarah Chayes, Alex De Waal

February 16, 2016

Start Preparing for the Collapse of the Saudi Kingdom

Saudi Arabia is no state at all. It could best be described as a political enterprise with a clever but ultimately unsustainable business model, or as so corrupt as to resemble a vertically and horizontally integrated criminal organization

DEFENSE ONE

January 13, 2016

The Right Way to Fight Boko Haram—and How the U.S. Should Help

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari should make his anticorruption agenda central to his campaign against Boko Haram.

WORLD POLITICS REVIEW

April 28, 2015

Thunder God: Values, Corruption, and Nigeria's Election

In Muhammadu Buhari's upset election, Nigerians -- Christian and Muslim as well as those who follow the old religions -- may have been seeking a Thunder God.

 

WASHINGTON POST

May 16, 2014

Nigeria's Boko Haram Isn't Just About Western Education

Nigerians, in the north and the south, see the education system as a corrupt intake valve into a profoundly corrupt political system.

THE ATLANTIC

Dec. 1, 2007

Scents and Sensibility

How to expand your skin-care business in the midst of a burgeoning insurgency -- in spite of America's aid industry.

WASHINGTON POST

Nov. 18, 2007

A Mullah Dies and War Comes Knocking

The fall of Arghandab District provides an object lesson in asymmetric warfare

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© 2018 by Sarah Chayes