An Offshore Cold War: Forging a Democratic Alliance to Combat Transnational Kleptocracy

March 02, 2022
10:00 am - 11:00 am


Oliver Bullough, author of Moneyland, an Economist Book of the Year in 2018


joined by

Heather Conley, President, German Marshall Fund of the United States


moderated by

Damon Wilson, President and CEO, National Endowment for Democracy


about the EVENT

As Oliver Bullough notes in a compelling new paper from NED’s International Forum, transnational kleptocracy combines “19th-century autocracy with 21st-century finance” to empower dictators to use illicit wealth to corrode both foreign and domestic institutions. Against the backdrop of intensifying aggression toward Ukraine exerted by Russia’s kleptocratic regime, please join us for a conversation about this growing threat to democracy that has urgent conse­quences for national security, human rights, and development. Bullough makes the case that democracies must develop a unified response to this critical challenge, much as they did during the fight against communism during the Cold War, by focusing on shared fundamental values of political and personal freedom, free markets, free speech, and independent judicial systems. The International Forum for Democratic Studies hosted Oliver Bullough and German Marshall Fund President Heather Conley for a conversation on his paper, “An Offshore Cold War: Forging a Democratic Alliance to Combat Transnational Kleptocracy,” and the broader challenges to democracy transnational kleptocracy poses today.


about the participants

Oliver Bullough is a widely published author and journalist from Wales. Previously, he served as Caucasus editor for the Institute of War and Peace Reporting, a security correspondent with Reuters Moscow, co-editor of The Times of Central Asia, and deputy editor of Pulse magazine in St. Petersburg. He is the author of The Last Man in Russia, Let Our Fame Be Great, and Moneyland: The Inside Story of the Crooks and Kleptocrats Who Rule the World, which was selected as an Economist Book of the Year in 2018. His next book, Butler to the World, will be published in March 2022.

Heather Conley is the president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Prior to joining GMF, Ms. Conley spent 12 years at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where she most recently served as senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic and as director of the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program. At CSIS, Ms. Conley developed the acclaimed Kremlin Playbook series, a dedicated research effort that examined the doctrine and methodology of Russian malign economic behavior and its methodology across Europe. She also is a recognized expert on the Arctic region, focusing on the Russian Arctic, climate transformation and U.S. policy toward the region.

Damon Wilson is the president and chief executive officer of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Prior to joining NED, Mr. Wilson was the executive vice president of the Atlantic Council, worked at the National Security Council (NSC) as the director for Central, Eastern, and Northern European Affairs from 2004 to 2006, special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs at the NSC from 2007 to 2009, and as the executive secretary and chief of staff at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

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