Sarah Chayes arrived in Afghanistan as a journalist. But the rampant corruption she encountered there drove her to stay for years afterward, fighting for change. Corruption touched every corner of daily life in the country; from crossing police checkpoints to paying utility bills, a bribe was required to accomplish almost anything. This was breeding deep anger and resentment in the Afghan people, Chayes discovered. And now the foreign policy expert has an urgent warning based on what she’s learned: Corruption can plant the seeds of violent religious extremism – and it’s happening worldwide.

This interview was originally broadcast on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show.