UCL Events


Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How It Changes Us

18 January 2022, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Brian Klass book cover

In this lecture Dr Klaas will discuss his book publication and explain why the phrase "power corrupts" is just the tip of a far more complex iceberg.

This event is free.

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About the lecture:
Does power corrupt, or are corrupt people drawn to power? Are entrepreneurs who embezzle and cops who kill the result of poorly designed systems or are they just bad people? Are tyrants made or born? If you were suddenly thrust into a position of power, would you be able to resist the temptation to line your pockets or seek revenge against your enemies? To answer these questions, Brian Klaas draws on over 500 interviews with some of the world’s top leaders—from the noblest to the dirtiest—including presidents and philanthropists as well as rebels, cultists, and dictators. Combining those interviews with the latest social science and scientific research, Klaas explains why the phrase "power corrupts" is just the tip of a far more complex iceberg.

About the Speaker

Dr. Brian Klaas

Associate Professor of Global Politics at Faculty of Arts and Humanities, UCL

Dr. Brian Klaas is an associate professor of global politics at UCL, a columnist for the Washington Post, and the host of the award-winning Power Corrupts podcast. Klaas has conducted field research across the globe, interviewing despots, CEOs, torture victims, dissidents, cult leaders, criminals, and everyday power abusers. He has also advised major politicians and organizations including NATO, the European Union, and Amnesty International.