Does power corrupt, or are corrupt people drawn to power? Are entrepreneurs who embezzle and cops who kill the outgrowths of bad systems or are they just bad people? Are tyrants made or born? If you were thrust into a position of power, would new temptations to line your pockets or torture your enemies gnaw away at you until you gave in?
To answer these questions, Brian Klaas’ new book Corruptible draws on over 500 interviews with some of the world’s noblest and dirtiest leaders, from presidents and philanthropists to rebels, cultists, and dictators. It also makes use of a wealth of counter-intuitive examples from history and social science.
Dr. Brian Klaas is an Associate Professor in Global Politics at University College London and a columnist for The Washington Post. Klaas is also a frequent television commentator and political consultant. He was previously based at the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford. Klaas has advised governments, US political campaigns, NATO, the European Union, multi-billion dollar investors, international NGOs, and international politicians.
He has extensive research experience working in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the United States. Dr. Klaas has conducted field research in six different countries, interviewing prime ministers, presidents, ministers, rebels, coup plotters, dissidents, and torture victims in an array of countries, including Madagascar, Thailand, Tunisia, Belarus, Côte d’Ivoire, and Zambia.