Why Are Some Democracies So Violent? (And How Can They Recover?)



Rachel Kleinfeld, Senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Date and Time

April 4, 2019 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM



Open to the public.

RSVP required by 5PM April 03.


Ground Floor Conference room (E008)



The most violent places in the world today are not at war. Brazil has had more violent death than Syria for the last three years. More people have died in Mexico in the last decade than in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. The world's worst violence is rooted in highly unequal, highly polarized democracies that are buckling under a maelstrom of gangs, organized crime, political conflict, and state brutality. Such devastating violence can feel hopeless, yet some places--from Colombia to the Republic of Georgia--have been able to recover. 

A Savage Order uncovers what makes these locales so bloody - including the U.S., which includes four of the world's fifty most violent cities. It then charts how they can get better. Based on years of research and field work around the world, A Savage Order overturns much conventional wisdom about the causes of bloodshed, and how the most violent places in the world can recover.


Speaker Bio:

Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld advises governments, philanthropists, and activists on how democracies make major social change. As a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, she particularly focuses on countries facing violence, corruption, and other problems of poor governance.

In 2010, Time magazine named her one of the top 40 political leaders under 40 in America for her decade of work as the founding CEO of the Truman National Security Project, which assisted scores of national, state, and local political campaigns, advocated for legislation, and fostered a new generation of military veterans and national security leaders to advance policies that would enhance global security, democracy, and human dignity. In 2011, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton appointed Kleinfeld to the Foreign Affairs Policy Board, which advises the secretary of state quarterly, a role she served through 2014. In 2015, she was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

Kleinfeld is the author of three books, including A Savage Order: How the World’s Deadliest Countries Can Forge a Path to Security (Knopf, 2018). Her previous book, Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad: Next Generation Reform (Carnegie, 2012), was chosen by Foreign Affairs magazine as one of the best foreign policy books of 2012. She appears frequently in the media, from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, to the BBC, Fox & Friends, and radio and television in the U.S. and overseas.

Kleinfeld received her B.A. from Yale University and her M.Phil. and D.Phil. from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes scholar. She lives with her husband and two daughters in New Mexico and works in Washington, D,C., but hearkens often to the log house on a dirt road where she was raised in her beloved Fairbanks, Alaska




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