Aug 4, 2021
Summer Series – Corruption and Kleptocratic Networks, a Conversation with Sarah Chayes
Play • 28 min

It's summertime in Sweden and Canada. The Filmmaker and the Advocate are taking a break, but the podcast isn't.  For five weeks, Fredrik and Leilani bring their faithful fans and new listeners the PushBack Talks - Summer Series.  These are curated podcasts from Season 2 - episodes you may have missed that are definitely worth a listen. We've pared them down,  and updated each with recent news and a few personal reflections. So, whether you're stuck at home, or chilling on a beach - we hope you enjoy our Summer Series! 

The Filmmaker and the Advocate take listeners of this episode of PUSHBACK Talks into the real world – one where $$ money $$ is the principle value and corruption and kleptocracy the means of acquisition. Few are better placed to expose the workings of corruption than Sarah Chayes – former NPR reporter, and senior adviser to government officials in the US Department of Defence, and author of three books including her most recent, On Corruption in America and What is at Stake. 

 Drawing on her experiences in Afghanistan, Nigeria, Honduras, Lebanon and beyond, Chayes reveals that contrary to media reporting, corruption is not about individuals or single acts. Rather, it operates through sophisticated networks that link together people from very different sectors of society, spanning governments and the private sector. These networks are flexible and exist through time, over decades, losing members along the way as protests and civil unrest require, and then gaining more members after each sacrifice. Network members bend and repurpose the institutions and agencies of government to make them serve the objectives of the network, rather than the public interest. The pivotal role of real estate in all of this is not lost on Chayes who notes a universal feature of these networks of corruption is the use of real estate as a vehicle.  

So what’s at stake when kleptocracy and corruption are left unchallenged? Nothing less than democracy.

Produced by WG Film 
Recorded & Edited by Mikey Jones
Music by Florencia Di Concilio
Social Media & Support - Maja Moberg

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