Figures in shadow

This event explored the impact of corruption on armed conflicts and international security. Too often overlooked in policy and research circles, corruption helps exacerbate and prolong conflict; destroy peace settlements; and spread weapons to unstable regions. Conspicuous corruption has also sparked public protests and uprisings such as the Arab Spring. In countries facing or recovering from conflict, corrupt defence and security institutions can become sources of insecurity themselves. Corruption has also been an enabler for extremist organisations, facilitating smuggling and the flow of resources.

This event explored the threat that corruption poses and identified possible policy responses. Speakers also discussed ways to shape international partnerships without benefiting malign groups or individuals.

Ben Fender is the Head of Security Policy at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Prior to this role, he managed the re-opening of the British Embassy in Tehran and served there as Chargé d’Affaires and later as Deputy Head of Mission. He had previously run the Iran team in the FCO from 2003 to 2007.

Katherine Dixon is the Director of Transparency International Defence and Security. She is a former British diplomat. Her last role in government was as Private Secretary to the British Foreign Secretary. Katherine has also worked on arms control issues and nuclear proliferation. Prior to that, she spent several years posted in China, and worked as a political analyst in the Ministry of Defence. Katherine speaks Mandarin and has been awarded an MBE.

This event will be chaired by Antônio Sampaio, Research Associate for Security and Development, IISS. It took place in the Trafalgar Room at Arundel House, 6 Temple Place, London WC2R 2PG.


Antônio Sampaio

Antonio Sampaio

Antônio Sampaio examines security and developmental trends in urban areas. In particular, he looks at the relationship between armed violence and socio-economic development in the large urban centres of Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. He conducts research and consultancy on these issues, and on criminal violence trends in Mexico, Central America and Brazil.

Back to content list

Event details

Thursday 9 November, 12.30–1.30pm GMT
Arundel House, London
Ben Fender, Head, Security Policy Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK
Katherine Dixon, Director, Transparency International Defence and Security
Antônio Sampaio, Research Associate for Security and Development, IISS