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Casey Michel
Casey Michel
Director of Human Rights Foundation's Combating Kleptocracy Program, author of "Foreign Agents" and "American Kleptocracy"
Where else you can find me
Personal website
Book a 1:1 with Casey

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Talk soon,


On my mind

How do authoritarian regimes target democracies - and how do they use people, industries, and loopholes in democracies to their advantage? How is it that the U.S. lost the post-Cold War peace? How do authoritarian regimes around the world continue to launder their wealth and dodge sanctions? Who are the Americans, and the American policies and industries, that have most aided and abetted authoritarian regimes? And why has Western policy viz. Russia failed for decades, and why has the West continually misunderstood Russian nationalism and Russian colonialism?

Why I'm excited to talk with readers

I'm incredibly excited to speak with readers to not only hear their thoughts on how my work fits within their broader understanding of foreign policy, geopolitics, economics, domestic politics, and more - but also about what I'm still missing in formulating some of these findings.


For those at all interested in something not related to money laundering, authoritarianism, lobbying, or Russia, I should also flag that I once taught a course at Rice University on the history of Batman, and am always happy to discuss anything related to the Caped Crusader.

Can't wait to hear from you.


Let's talk! Open to...👇
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My latest
My Substack
Casey Michel
Where I've written

Foreign Agents

How American Lobbyists and Lawmakers Threaten Democracy Around the World


FOREIGN AGENTS is a stunning investigation and indictment of the elements in United States' foreign lobbying industry and the threat they pose to democracy.

In FOREIGN AGENTS, Casey Michel shines a light on these foreign lobbyists, and all the damage and devastation they have caused in Washington and elsewhere. From Moscow to Beijing, from far-right nationalists to far-left communists, from anti-American autocrats to pro-Western authoritarians, these foreign lobbyists have helped any illiberal, anti-democratic government they can find. And after decades of success in installing dictator after dictator, and in tilting American policy in the process, some of these lobbyists have now begun trying to end America's democratic experiment, once and for all.

“An unprecedented look at the law firms, PR specialists, consultants, and former officials who’ve helped the enemies of democracy succeed.”
— Lt. Col. (Ret.) Alexander S. Vindman, author of Here, Right Matters

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American Kleptocracy

How the U.S. Created the World's Greatest Money Laundering Scheme in History

American Kleptocracy examines just how the United States’ implosion into a center of global offshoring took place: how states like Delaware and Nevada perfected the art of the anonymous shell company, and how post-9/11 reformers watched their success usher in a new flood of illicit finance directly into the U.S.; how African despots and post-Soviet oligarchs came to dominate American coastlines, American industries, and entire cities and small towns across the American Midwest; how Nazi-era lobbyists birthed an entire industry of spin-men whitewashing trans-national crooks and despots, and how dirty money has now begun infiltrating America's universities and think tanks and cultural centers; and how those on the front-line are trying to restore America's legacy of anti-corruption leadership—and finally end this reign of American kleptocracy.

"An indefatigable young American journalist who has virtually cornered the international kleptocracy beat on the US end of the black aquifer."

The Los Angeles Review of Books

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