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How Non-State Actors Export Kleptocratic Norms to the West
Photo by: Ivan Vdovin
Photo by: Ivan Vdovin

How Non-State Actors Export Kleptocratic Norms to the West October 11th Event

Recent global events show that the post-Cold War flow of money and values was not a one-way affair. The West is witnessing an increasingly coordinated assault on its own democratic system. This destructive import of corrupt practices comes not only from post-Soviet kleptocratic regimes like Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia, but also from China and other countries around the world whose ruling elites now possess far-reaching financial and political interests in the West.

On October 11th, Hudson Institute’s Kleptocracy Initiative held a discussion of Ilya Zaslavskiy’s report, How Non-State Actors Export Kleptocratic Norms to the West. After opening remarks by Mr. Zaslavskiy and responses by Jeffrey Gedmin and David Kramer, two expert panels explored the development of corrupt norms and the true nature of contemporary kleptocratic regimes, as well as the methods they deploy to undermine Western democracy – and what can be done to fight back.


Ilya Zaslavskiy Speaker

Report Author, How Non-State Actors Export Kleptocratic Norms to the West; Research Expert, Free Russia Foundation (FRF); Academy Associate, Chatham House; and President, Free Speech LLC

Jeffrey Gedmin Respondent

Senior Fellow, Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service; Nonresident Senior Fellow, Future Europe Initiative, Atlantic Council; and Senior Adviser, Blue Star Strategies

David Kramer Respondent

Senior Fellow, Florida International University’s Green School for International and Public Affairs; former Senior Director for Human Rights and Human Freedoms, McCain Institute; and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State

Louise Shelley Panelist

Director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC) and Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Endowed Chair, George Mason University

Sarah Chayes Panelist

Senior Fellow, Democracy and Rule of Law Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and author of Thieves of State: Why Global Corruption Threatens Security

Ambassador Richard D. Kauzlarich Panelist

Co-Director, Center for Energy Science and Policy (CESP) and Distinguished Visiting Professor, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University

Paul Massaro Panelist

Policy Advisor, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission)

Charles Davidson Moderator

Executive Director, Kleptocracy Initiative

Hudson Experts

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