SHADOW ELITE: How the World's New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market. Basic Books, 2009.

CONFRONTING CORRUPTION, BUILDING ACCOUNTABILITY: Lessons From the World Of International Development Advising. Resource Handbook, co-auth. with Lloyd J. Dumas and Greg Callman, Palgrave Macmillan, December 2010.


"The Corruption Conundrum: Bridging Perspectives Between East and West." Submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice, December 2006.

"Corruption and Organized Crime in Post-Communist States: New Ways of Manifesting Old Patterns".  In Trends in Organized Crime, vol. 7, no. 1, Fall 2001, pp. 3-61 (released Fall 2003).

Toward an Anti-Corruption Agenda. Report commissioned by the Social Development Team, World Bank, Washington, D.C., 1999.

Scholarly Articles

"New Directions in Anti-Corruption: The Mapping Method- A Guide to Charting Corruption and Influence Processes" (with Kristian Lasslett). In Handbook of Anti-Corruption Research and Practice, Joseph Pozsgai and Roxana Bratu, Routledge Press, forthcoming 2023.

"Reconstruction Aid to Ukraine: What we know (or should know) from the history of 1990s assistance to Eastern Europe," VOX EU, June 14, 2023; VOX Ukraine

"When Civilizational Models Collide," Project Syndicate, March 3, 2023.

"Shadow Elites: Beyond Institutional Corruption Theory and Ill-Conceived Anti-Corruption Regimes. Toward A New Research Agenda." In Handbook on Quality of Government, Andreas Bågenholm, Monika Bauhr, and Marcia Grimes, Bo Rothstein, eds., Oxford University Press, 2021, pp.63-90.

"Corruption as the Through Line: The Overlooked Establishment Corruption, Why Trumpism is No Accident, and Why Corruption Has No End Point." In Corruption and Illiberal Politics in the Trump Era, Donna Goldstein and Kristen Drybread, eds., Routledge Press, forthcoming, 2023.

"Beyond Cash: Reputation Laundering as a Feature of Transnational Kleptocracy." Commentary written for the National Endowment for Democracy's International Forum for Democratic Studies, December 2020.

"Déjá Vu: How Today's Western Democracies Recall Eastern Europe under Communism," "Lessons for Liberalism from the 'Illiberal East'," Dace Dzenovska and Larisa Kurtović, eds., Special Issue, Cultural Anthropology, April 25, 2018.

"The Venal Roots of Political Turmoil," Project Syndicate, Dec. 21, 2017.
Reprinted in The Straits Times, and in LiveMint.
(Read in PDF)

"The Big Question: What is the Relationship Between Kleptocracy and Authoritarianism?" National Endowment for Democracy, November 16, 2017, The International Forum for Democratic Studies asked five leading experts about the relationship between authoritarianism and kleptocracy.

"From Power Elites to Influence Elites: Resetting Elite Studies for the 21st Century," Special Issue on Elites, Theory, Culture & Society, Aeron Davis and Karel Williams, eds., September 2017. (Read in PDF)

"From Power Elites to Influence Elites: Resetting Elite Studies for the 21st Century," Theory, Culture & Society, July 10, 2017. (Read in PDF)

"Meet the New American Influence Elites: How Top Players Sway Policy and Governing in the Twenty-First Century," The Death of Public Knowledge?: How Free Markets Destroy the General Intellect, Aeron Davis, ed., MIT Press, Jun 2017, , pp. 213-230.

"Globalisation's Freelancers, Democracy's Decline: The Case of Harvard, the Chubais Clan, and U.S. Aid to Russia." In Globalisation in Practice, Nigel Thrift, Adam Tickell, Steve Woolgar, and William H. Rupp, eds., Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 150-156.

"Rethinking Corruption in an Age of Ambiguity." In Annual Review of Law and Social Science Vol. 8, December 2012, pp. 453-498. [Read in PDF]

"Shadow Governing: What the Neocon Core Reveals About Power and Influence in America."  In Policy Worlds: Anthropology and the Analysis of Contemporary Power, Cris Shore, Susan Wright, and Davide Pero, eds., New York, N.Y.: Berghahn Books, 2011, pp. 151-168.

"Flex Organizing and the Clan-State: Perspectives on Crime and Corruption in the New Russia." In Ruling Russia: Crime, Law, and Justice in a Changing Society, William Pridemore, ed. New York, N.Y.: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2005, pp. 101-116.

"Blurring the State-Private Divide: Flex Organisations and the Decline of Accountability." In Globalisation, Poverty and Conflict: A Critical Development Reader, Max Spoor, ed. Dordrecht (Netherlands) and Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004, pp. 217-235.

"Courtage International et Institution Floues." (with Siddarth Chandra) In ACTES de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales, no. 151-152, March 2004, pp. 114-125. [abstract in Fr. and Eng.]

"Mafia Without Malfeasance, Clans Without Crime: The Criminality Conundrum in Post-Communist Europe." In Crime's Power: Anthropologists and the Ethnography of Crime, Philip C. Parnell and Stephanie C. Kane, eds., New York, N.Y.: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, pp. 221-244.

"Clans, Cliques, and Captured States: Rethinking 'Transition' in Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union.” In Journal of International Development, vol. 15, 2003, pp. 427-440.

"Dirty Togetherness: Institutional Nomads, Networks, and the State-Private Interface in Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union." In Polish Sociological Review, vol. 2, no. 142, 2003, pp. 139-159.

"Rigging the U.S.-Russia Relationship: Harvard, Chubais, and the Transidentity Game." In Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization, vol. 7, no. 4, Fall 1999, pp. 469-500.

"Clique-Run Organizations and U.S. Economic Aid: An Institutional Analysis." In Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization, vol. 4, no. 4, Fall 1996, pp. 571-602.

Newspaper & Magazine Articles

"It's 2020. Do You Know Who Your Government Is Serving? America Has Been Conflating Politics and Business for Years-And if We're Not Careful, We Could Go the Way of Post-Soviet Eastern Europe," Zócalo Public Square, December 10, 2020.

"It's Happening Here: What a Ukrainian Fitness Club Taught This Anthropologist about Dirty Togetherness in America," Medium, November 2, 2020.

"Dirty Populists," Project Syndicate, January 2, 2019.

"Trump Is Right That the System Is "Rigged"-and He's Stacking It More: Average Americans Are Losing Power While Self-Serving Elites Lose Public Trust," Zocalo, May 16, 2017.

"A Field Guide to Trump's Swamp," Sapiens, January 19, 2017.

"The Battle-Hymn of the Generals-For-Hire," The Huffington Post, January 17, 2017.

"We Need to Clean Up Our Understanding of Corruption," New America Weekly, December 17, 2015.
Syndicated and reprinted: Pacific Standard, January 8, 2016.

"In the Shadows: How Unaccountable Elites Corrupt Democracy" Discover Society, December 1, 2014, Issue 15.

"The Petraeus Wrist-slap," USA Today, March 24, 2015.

"Booted by Voters? Still in Hot Demand: 5 Places Former Pols Go After Leaving Congress" In The Huffington Post, November 18, 2014.

"Is Your Doctor on Big Pharma's Dole?" In The Huffington Post, October 8, 2014.

"Shadow Elite: Why Sarah Palin's Really Selling Big Government" In The Huffington Post, February 11, 2010.

"Shadow Elite: The Spy Who Came in From... Wall Street?" In The Huffington Post, February 04, 2010.

"Research on Policy: Shadow Elite: How the Study of Post-Communist Societies Illuminates US Power Structures." In Anthropology News, vol. 51, issue 2, February 2010, p. 27.

"'Shadow Elite': Did The Supreme Court Just Trash Democracy and the Free Market?" In The Huffington Post, January 28, 2010.

"'Shadow Elite': Do You Know Whose Agenda You're Being Sold?" In The Huffington Post, January 21, 2010.

"For The Shadow Elite Failure Often Guarantees Future Rewards" In The Huffington Post, January 14, 2010.

"Is the Government In Charge, Or Is It the Shadow Elite?" In The Huffington Post, January 7, 2010.

"Wall Street's bailout gives me déjà vu: The aftermath of Wall Street's meltdown reminds me of the aftermath of the Berlin Wall's fall. Not in a good way." In Salon, November 8, 2009.

"Flex Power: A Capital Way to Gain Clout, Inside and Out." In The Washington Post, Sunday, December 12, 2004; p. B04.
(Also on web site:, titled "Flex Power: An Influential Band of Policy Brothers").

"Too Tightknit to be Accountable: The outsourcing of crucial government functions to private individuals and companies is an alarming trend." In Salon, August 12, 2004.

"Society for the Anthropology of Europe." With Deborah Cahalen and Lynn Maners. In Anthropology News, vol. 43, issue 1, January 2002, pp. 50-51.

"Who Taught Crony Capitalism to Russia?"  In The Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2001. 

"Tainted Transactions: Harvard, the Chubais Clan and Russia's Ruin."  In The National Interest, no. 59, Spring 2000, pp. 23-34.
Read in PDF.

"Tainted Transactions: An Exchange. Jeffrey Sachs, Anders Aslund, Janine Wedel. Wedel Replies. "  In The National Interest, no. 60, Summer 2000, pp. 107-110.
Read in PDF.

"Tainted Transactions: Harvard, the Chubais Clan and Russia's Ruin."  In The National Interest, no. 59, Spring 2000, pp. 23-34.
Read in PDF.

"The Harvard Boys Do Russia:  How the Best and Brightest Helped Destroy the Russian Economy." In The Nation, June 1, 1998, pp. 11-16 (cover story).

"Cliques and Clans and Aid to Russia: How the U.S. Buoyed the 'St. Petersburg Clan." In Transition, vol. 4, no. 2, July 1997, pp. 66-71.

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