This workshop will bring together researchers, practitioners and activists working on issues related to corruption in the global arms industry and trade, and in the military and security sectors more broadly. The overarching goal of the workshop is to share information, ideas, and experiences, bringing together perspectives from different countries and from different ways of approaching the issue, so as to spur ideas for future research and activism on the issues concerned, and make connections between participants.
World Peace Foundation has been running a program on Global Arms and Corruption since 2013, starting with a series of workshops in 2013-2014 that led to the publication of the book Indefensible: 7 myths that sustain the global arms trade. This sought to highlight not just the financial corruption associated with the arms trade but the ways in which the arms business and the political interests associated with it tend to corrupt democratic processes and the rule of law.
Since late 2016, with a full-time program manager for the project, WPF has been collecting cases of arms trade and military corruption, many of which are included in a “Compendium of Arms Trade Corruption”, and has started producing reports analyzing the results of the work. We hope that one of the outcomes of the workshop will be to discuss this work and further distill conclusions and lessons learnt from the project. The participants in the workshop come from a variety of civil society and research backgrounds, in many cases working specifically on issues of arms trade and military corruption in their own and/or other countries, including from the point of view of arms exporters, arms importers, military aid donors, and military aid recipients. They include researchers from think tanks and civil society, authors, campaigners, investigators, a former military officer and a former police officer working on corruption-related crime.
Between all of us, this represents a fairly unique collection of perspectives on the issues
Some of the specific goals of the workshop will be:
09:00 – Coffee, introductions
09:30 – Presentation of WPF work on Global Arms and Corruption, including the Compendium
Discussion: Presenter: Sam Perlo-Freeman
Respondent: Andrew Watson
10:45 – Break
11:00 – Presentation of work and experiences focusing on exporter/donor countries, including the UK, Sweden, and France
Presenters: Paul Holden, Linda Åkerström, Yannick Quéau
12:30 – Lunch
14:00 – Presentation of work and experiences focusing on recipient countries, including South Africa, Malaysia
Presenter: Kua Kia Soong
Respondent: Hennie van Vuuren
15:30 – Break
15:45 – Discussion on broader issues of corruption and national security, including presentation from Jodi Vittori on Afghanistan
Presenter: Jodi Vittori Respondent: Alex de Waal
09:00 – The role of the arms trade and the military sector in political finance and the political market place
Presenters: Alex de Waal and Xiaodon Liang
Respondent: Andrew Feinstein
10:15 – Break
10:30 – Lessons learnt from an advocacy perspective. Developing advocacy agendas: what are the key things we should be advocating for to tackle corruption in the global arms business and the military sector?
Brief introduction: Ann Feltham, Leah Wawro
This session will also focus on the role of banking and finance in the laundering of corrupt money, and related issues such as beneficial ownership. Hannie Van Vuuren will give a brief presentation on the work of Open Secrets in South Africa in identifying the banking networks used to launder money for the Apartheid regime’s global arms purchases, and its relevance to contemporary arms trade corruption issues.
12:30 – Lunch
13:30 – Lessons learned from a research & analytical perspective: developing research agendas: what are the key unanswered questions, what are the most fruitful potential avenues of research?
Brief introduction: Sam Perlo-Freeman, Nic Marsh
Linda Åkerström is Head of Disarmament at the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (SPAS/Svenska Freds). SPAS is Sweden’s biggest peace organization, mainly known for its long time opposition to Swedish arms trade. She is the author of the book “Den svenska vapenexporten” (The Swedish Arms Trade), published at Leopard editors in December 2016.
Bridget Conley is the Research Director of the World Peace Foundation and Assistant Research Professor at The Fletcher School. At WPF, she is the lead researcher on the Mass Atrocities program, and editor of How Mass Atrocities End: Studies from Guatemala, Burundi, Indonesia, the Sudans, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Iraq (Cambridge University Press 2016). She has published on issues related to the 1992 – 1995 war in Bosnia, mass atrocities and genocide, and how museums can engage on human rights issues. She previously worked as Research Director for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience, where she led the Museum’s research and projects on contemporary threats of genocide, including curating an exhibition, From Memory to Action: Meeting the Challenge of Genocide Today. She received a PhD in Comparative Literature from Binghamton University in 2001. Dr. Conley is a member of the International Panel on Exiting Violence (IPEV) as part of the working group, The Role of History and Memory in Exiting Extreme and Mass Violence: Comparative Lessons put together by Foundation Maison des sciences de l’homme (FMSH)
Sarah Detzner is a Ph.D Candidate at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Her research is focused on international security, particularly post-conflict stabilization/reconstruction and security sector reform. In addition, she serves as Director of the Fletcher Graduate Writing Program, as a Center for Strategic Studies and Institute for Human Security Fellow, and as a consultant for the World Peace Foundation. Previously, she served in the Obama Administration as a speechwriter for former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, campaigned as an Obama 2008 staffer, and worked with the National Democratic Institute in Washington, D.C., Lebanon, and Jordan. She is a graduate of Macalester College and originally from the Chicago area.
Alex de Waal is the Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation. Considered one of the foremost experts on Sudan and the Horn of Africa, his scholarly work and practice has also probed humanitarian crisis and response, human rights, HIV/AIDS and governance in Africa, and conflict and peace-building. His latest book is Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine (Polity Press 2017). He is also the author of The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa (Polity Press, 2015), a full list of his publications is available below. Following a fellowship with the Global Equity Initiative at Harvard (2004-06), he worked with the Social Science Research Council as Director of the program on HIV/AIDS and Social Transformation, and led projects on conflict and humanitarian crises in Africa (2006-09). During 2005-06, de Waal was seconded to the African Union mediation team for Darfur and from 2009-11 served as senior adviser to the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan. He was on the list of Foreign Policy’s 100 most influential public intellectuals in 2008 and Atlantic Monthly’s 27 “brave thinkers” in 2009.
Andrew Feinstein is Executive and Founding Director of Corruption Watch, an NGO that uses case studies of large-scale corruption to create policy proposals for the purpose of combating corrupt behavior by governments and corporations. Andrew was a former African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament in South Africa for 7 years before resigning in protest at the ANC’s refusal to allow an independent and comprehensive inquiry into a multi-million dollar arms deal. Feinstein has written two books on the illicit global arms trade, The Shadow World and After the Party, which is a detailed account of his time spent within the ANC and the cover up involving the arms deal scandal. He was educated at King’s College Cambridge, the University of California at Berkley, and the University of Cape Town and also participated in the London School of Economics Distinguished Visitors Programme.
Ann Feltham is Parliamentary Coordinator of the Campaign Against Arms Trade, UK. Ann became a supporter of the Campaign Against Arms Trade in 1978, four years after it was set up. She joined its staff in 1985 and is now Parliamentary Coordinator. CAAT’s work over the years has focused on the UK government’s promotion of arms exports, especially to human rights violators and to regions of conflict. It uses many methods, from protests against arms fairs to legal action.
Dr. Aude Fleurant joined SIPRI in April 2014 as the Director of the Arms Transfers and Military Expenditure Programme. Her research interests focus on the transformation of the military market and analysis of the interaction of supply and demand dynamics. Her publications have mainly addressed issues of countries’ or companies’ adjustments to new market conditions and their consequences.
Nicholas Gilby led Campaign Against Arms Trade’s efforts to expose corruption in Britain’s arms deals with Saudi Arabia. He is the author of The No-Nonsense Guide to the Arms Trade (2009) and Deception in High Places: A History of Bribery in Britain’s Arms Trade (2014). His research has featured in the Guardian, BBC’s Newsnight and Al Jazeera.
Paul Holden is Director of investigations at Corruption Watch and is a South African-born and London-based historian, researcher, writer and activist. He has published five books to date on issues related to corruption, governance and democratic practice, and the arms trade. His publications include lead author for Indefensible: The Seven Myths that Sustain the Global Arms Trade (2017), The Arms Deal in Your Pocket (2008) and Who Rules South Africa (2012). His major investigative work to date was the book The Devil in the Detail: How the Arms Deal Changed Everything (2011), which collated the result of years of detailed investigation into South Africa’s biggest post-apartheid scandal. Since 2009, Paul has worked closely with Andrew Feinstein, acting as the lead researcher for Feinstein’s The Shadow World and as co-author, along with fellow colleague Barnaby Pace, of the lead article in the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) 2011 Yearbook.
Roy Isbister leads Saferworld’s Arms Unit. He has worked in this area for almost twenty years, and has considerable experience in developing and implementing strategies to promote the adoption of responsible arms transfer control strategies at national, regional and international levels. He is the author and/or editor of numerous research papers, reports, policy briefings and articles on arms transfer control policies and contributes to national, regional and international media on arms issues. He has chaired the Geneva Process on Small Arms and been the civil society member of the Board of the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms, while he is currently co-chair of the global Control Arms Coalition and the coordinator of the UK NGO Working Group on Arms.
Xiaodon Liang is a Research Assistant at the World Peace Foundation for the Global Arms Trade and Corruption project and a PhD student at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He previously worked at the National Bureau of Asian Research and Dealogic, an analytics firm. He holds a master’s degree from The Fletcher School and an undergraduate degree from the London School of Economics. Nicholas Marsh is a Research Fellow at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) where he works on the arms trade, security force assistance, and their governance; and the use of arms in crime and conflict. He has been the Chair of a European research network on small arms, and Consultant to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and to the Small Arms Survey. At PRIO he has written tens of articles, chapters and reports on the acquisition and use of weapons by non-state groups, the global licit and illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, lethal autonomous weapons, and national and international laws and regulations governing arms transfers.
Dr. Samuel Perlo-Freeman is a Fellow at the World Peace Foundation, and Project Manager for the WPF project on Global Arms Business and Corruption. He was previously Senior Researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). From 2007 to 2016 Sam worked at SIPRI on issues of military expenditure, arms industry and arms trade, and in particular was head of the SIPRI Military Expenditure project from 2009 to 2016. In this capacity, he recently completed a project to extend SIPRI’s unique military expenditure database backwards in time from 1988 to the 1950s. He is a regular contributor to the SIPRI Yearbook and presents regularly on issues of arms and military expenditure at conferences and workshops worldwide. Previously he was a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of the West of England, working mostly in the field of defence and peace economics. He holds PhDs in Mathematics and Economics, and is the author of numerous publications on defence and peace economics, development economics, arms industry and trade, and mathematics.
Yannick Quéau is the director of OSINTPOL. His spheres of expertise cover international security, transatlantic relations, the industrial, strategic and economic aspects of the arms trade, as well as the control rules and has contributed numerous analyzes and reports on these topics. He is also associate researcher at the Research and Information Group on Peace and Security (GRIP, Brussels). He previously worked in the Research Group on the Military Industry and Security (GRIMS, Montreal), was attached to the Observatory of the Political Economy of Defense (OEPD, Montreal) and has worked as a Research Associate with the Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS, Paris), as an analyst at the Technopole Defense and Security in Valcartier (Quebec, Canada). He taught for 3 years on behalf of the Canadian Department of Defense in Saint Jean-sur-Richelieu (Canada) as well as a lecturer at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), at the University Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas and Sciences Po Paris.
Kua Kia Soong is a director of Malaysia’s human rights organisation SUARAM. He was arrested under the Internal Security Act during “Operation Lalang” in 1987 and detained for 445 days without trial. Upon his release in 1989, he helped to found SUARAM, the complainant to the French courts on the Scorpene submarines scandal. He joined the Opposition Front in 1990 and was elected Opposition Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya from 1990 to 1995. He raised the Arms for Aid scandal in the Malaysian Parliament in 1994. He was prisoner of conscience for a second time in 1996 for organizing the Second Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor. He was the Principal of the New Era College, (2000-2008); Director of Huazi Research Centre(1985-90) and Academic Adviser to the Independent Chinese Secondary Schools (1983-85). Kua received his BA Econ (1975), MAEcon (1976) and PhD in Sociology with a Needham Scholarship (1981) from Manchester University, UK. He was a lecturer in Sociology at the National University of Singapore 1978-79.
Dr. Anna Stavrianakis is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Sussex. Her main research interests are the arms trade, UK arms export policy, international arms transfer control, and militarism. Anna works with MPs and NGOs on issues of UK and EU arms export controls. She has given evidence to the parliamentary Committees on Arms Export Controls, and works with organisations such as Saferworld and Campaign Against Arms Trade. She is the author of the book, Taking Aim at the Arms Trade. NGOs, Global Civil Society and the World Military Order (Zed Books, June 2010), and is the co-editor (with Jan Selby) of Militarism and International Relations: Political Economy, Security, Theory (Routledge).
Hennie van Vuuren works as the director of Open Secrets and is a past fellow of the Open Society Foundation for South Africa. He has also worked as Director of the Institute for Security Studies in Cape Town and for Transparency International in Berlin. Hennie supports the Right2Know campaign and serves on the boards of Natural Justice and My Vote Counts. He is the author of Apartheid Guns & Money: A Tale of Profit (2017) and coauthor of The Devil in the Detail: How the Arms Deal Changed Everything (2011).
Jodi Vittori is Research and Policy Manager, Washington, DC at Transparency International Defence & Security. She is an expert on the linkages of corruption, conflict, illicit financial flows, and national security. She is a defense industry research and policy manager for Transparency International’s Defense and Security program and a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She teaches on corruption and governance at Georgetown University and on terrorism finance and organized crime at the National Defense University. She has previously been a Senior Policy Adviser for Global Witness, where she managed educational and advocacy activities on linkages between corruption and national security. Prior to joining Global Witness, Dr. Vittori served in the U.S. Air Force, obtaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel; her overseas service included Afghanistan, Iraq, South Korea, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and she was assigned to NATO’s only counter-corruption task force. She is the author of the book Terrorist Financing and Resourcing and a co-author of the handbook Corruption Threats and International Missions: Practical Guidance for Leaders. Jodi graduated from the US Air Force Academy and received her PhD from the University of Denver.
Andy Watson is Head of Industry Integrity and arms trade corruption for Transparency International – Defence and Security. His team works with industry and policymakers to address corruption risks within the international arms trade. Andy has a law enforcement background, having spent nearly a decade as a Scotland Yard detective. During this time, he specialised in the investigation of bribery, corruption and organised crime. He has worked with a variety of industry partners and international law enforcement agencies; and has advised on the Bribery Act and corruption proofing. Prior to his career in the police, Andy was a producer for a defence conferencing company, working with industry and international militaries. Andy has a degree in War Studies from King’s College London.
Leah Wawro manages the Conflict and Insecurity team within Defence & Security Programme at Transparency International, UK. She first joined DSP in 2011 working on research and liaising with TI national chapters. She has led on advocacy and communications, and prior to that was the civil society officer leading on work with the TI chapters and other NGOs worldwide, as well as contributing to the 2013 Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index (GI). Before joining DSP, Leah worked with War Child (UK), Armadillo at Large, and Air America Media. She also worked as a volunteer with UNRWA and the Iraqi Student Project in Damascus, Syria. From 2014-15, Leah was a Network Fellow at Harvard University’s Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics, where she worked on research into institutional corruption in the defence sectors of states transitioning to democracy.
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