Edward Lucas

Senior Editor, The Economist
Author, Cyberphobia, Deception and The New Cold War

Expert on Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, covering the region for The Economist for 25 years.

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Biography

Edward Lucas is a prescient, seasoned and compellingly articulate observer of international affairs. He was the first Western commentator to highlight the emerging threat from Vladimir Putin’s Russia, with his landmark best seller, The New Cold War, written in 2007 and translated into 20 languages. It drew on his decades of experience in the former communist world, including a four-year posting as the Economist’s Moscow bureau chief. He has also foretold the growing crisis in cyber-security, with his acclaimed book Cyberphobia — highlighting the way in which our dependence on the internet is outstripping our ability to defend ourselves. He also predicted Britain’s Brexit vote to leave the EU, with incisive analysis of the failings of the “Remain” camp in the run-up to the referendum.

An acclaimed author and versatile public speaker, Lucas gives keynote speeches, moderates conference sessions and takes part in panel discussions at high-level international events. He consults for private and public-sector clients. In addition to testifying before committees of the American and British legislatures, he has lectured at Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, LSE and other leading universities, as well as at major intelligence agencies. He appears regularly on the BBC's Today and Newsnight programmes, and on other major broadcasters including NPR, CNN and Sky News.

Having covered Europe for more than 25 years as a journalist, Lucas offers uniquely valuable insights into the political and economic climate and trends. He also offers profound analysis of the weaknesses of the West which Russia and other adversaries exploit. He is an authoritative speaker on money-laundering, corruption, the abuse of loopholes in onshore and offshore finance (particularly undisclosed beneficial ownership), and the danger of a financial system which privatises profits and socialises losses. He is a vehement defender of the moral and ethical foundations of the free market system. He is an authoritative speaker on peer-to-peer lending: the fast-growing — and controversial — multi-billion dollar business of “bankless banking”, using new technology to link borrowers and lenders directly.

Edward Lucas is a senior editor at the Economist, the world’s leading newsweekly, where he edits the award-winning daily news app Espresso. He also writes leaders, obituaries, book reviews and in-depth articles on topics including cyber-security and NATO-Russian relations. He is a senior vice-president at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), a Washington DC think-tank., where he leads programmes on information-warfare and Nordic-Baltic security. His expertise includes cyber-security, espionage, energy, Russian foreign and security policy and the future of the European Union and NATO.

His journalistic career spans the BBC World Service (for which he was Berlin correspondent), the Independent (posted to Washington, DC) and the Sunday Times (in Prague). He has held numerous senior posts at the The Economist, for which he has been writing since 1988. He was Moscow bureau chief, international editor, energy editor and the central and eastern Europe correspondent. His weekly column has appeared since 2005 and is syndicated in a dozen languages; he also writes for, among others, the *Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Foreign Policy * and Standpoint.

He was a co-founder in 1992 of The Baltic Independent, an English-language weekly in Tallinn, Estonia. This pioneering and risky venture in the difficult conditions of the post-communist world played a vital role in shaping outside perceptions of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — countries which were still wrestling with the legacy of 50 years of Soviet occupation.

His newest book, Cyberphobia, is an insightful analysis, in layman’s language, of the deep security flaws in the computers and networks which now make up the central nervous system of modern civilisation. He specialises in presenting complicated technical concepts that determine our security (or lack of it) on the internet in terms that non-specialists can understand, and in demystifying the products sold by cyber-security companies.

The Snowden Operation, a critical account of the leaks from the NSA in 2013, appeared in 2014. Deception, published in 2011, was the first mainstream analysis of what is now termed “hybrid warfare” — the combination of subversion, propaganda, targeted corruption, intimidation and cyber-attacks which Russia used against Ukraine in 2014.

Lucas has covered every east-west security story from the fall of the Iron Curtain to the Putin regime’s extraordinary consolidation of political and economic power and its adoption of an explicitly revisionist foreign policy. He offers audiences unparalleled historical perspective and indispensable, up-to-the-minute insights into modern Russia, and into the forces bearing down on the frontline states — the former satellites of the Soviet empire — and on the increasingly fragmented and fragile Western alliance.

Lucas is the recipient of numerous awards and decorations. He was also the first foreigner to receive an Estonian electronic identity card. He studied economics at the London School of Economics and Polish at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. He lectures in German as well as English, and can also speak Russian, Polish, Czech and Lithuanian.

Credentials

  • Senior editor, The Economist
  • Senior Vice-President, CEPA
  • Editorial Director, Economist Intelligence Unit, Vienna

  • Managing editor, The Baltic Independent

  • Author
  • Broadcaster
  • Consultant

Books

Cyberphobia

Identity, Trust, Security and the Internet

Edward Lucas

Crossing the road, we look both ways. Riding a bicycle at night, we use lights. So why is our attitude towards online security so relaxed? Edward Lucas reveals the ways in which cyberspace is more dangerous than we expect, how passwords provide no significant obstacle to attackers, and how anonymity is easily accessible to anyone — malign or benign — willing to take a little time covering their tracks.

The internet was designed by a small group of computer scientists looking for a way to share information quickly. In the last twenty years it has expanded rapidly to become a global information superhighway, available to all comers, but also wide open to those seeking invisibility. This potential for anonymity means neither privacy nor secrecy are really possible for law-abiding corporations or citizens. Easily faked identities erode the foundations on which our political, legal and economic systems are based. Businesses, governments, national security organisations and even ordinary individuals are constantly at risk and with our ever-increasing dependence on the internet and smart-phone technology this threat is unlikely to diminish—in fact, the target for cyber-criminals is expanding all the time.

Not only does Cyberphobia lay bare the dangers lurking on the internet, it also explores successful defensive cyber-strategies and options for countering transgressors.

Bloomsbury Publishing (27 August 2015)

The New Cold War

Putin’s Threat to Russia and the West

Edward Lucas

In late 1999 when Vladimir Putin was named Prime Minister, Russia was a budding democracy. Multiple parties campaigned for seats in the Duma, the nation’s parliament. The media criticized the government freely. Now the country is under a repressive regime. Human rights abuses are widespread. The Kremlin is openly hostile to the West. Yet the United States and Europe have been slow to confront the new reality, in effect, helping Russia win the New Cold War.

A prescient and best-selling analysis of the threat posed by the Putin regime in Russia, The New Cold War, originally written in 2007, has been regularly republished and updated as events have vindicated its warnings of Russia’s trajectory under Vladimir Putin: repression at home and aggression abroad. It offers a harrowing portrait of developments inside Russia as well as a sobering political assessment of what the New Cold War will mean for the world. In this big, hard-hitting and urgently needed book, Lucas shows how

  • Russia is pursuing global energy markets
  • Neighboring nations are being coerced back into the former Soviet orbit
  • Journalists and dissidents are being silenced
  • Foreign investments and private enterprises are routinely defrauded
  • Putin is laying the groundwork for controlling industry and planning his new role as prime minister
  • Drawing on new and hitherto reported material, The New Cold War brilliantly anticipated what is in store for the new Russia and what the world should be doing.

Since it was first published in February 2008, Russia has become more authoritarian and corrupt, and as the Ukraine crisis has shown, it has also become a far greater threat to the West. The New Cold War was the first book to highlight the dangerous asymmetry in Russia's relations with the West: the Kremlin is willing to use cash, energy, propaganda and force in a way that far exceeds the willingness of Europe and the United States to resist. Amid Western complacency, cowardice and corruption, Russia has begun restoring its sphere of influence in Europe — a rebirth of the old Soviet empire. The book's central thesis has proved chillingly prescient. It is now an essential guide to the gravest security crisis facing Europe for generations.

Palgrave MacMillan Trade; Rev Upd edition (29 July 2014)

Praise

“Some dismissed this book as scaremongering. They should re-read it now.”
— Radosław Sikorski, former Foreign Minister of Poland

“It is little comfort for those of us in NATO’s frontline states that this book’s message has been vindicated.”
— Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia

“The only book of some international standing that deals with this issue”
— Jüri Luik, International Centre for Defence Studies

“An outstanding piece of research and a testimony to its author’s thorough knowledge and understanding of Russia in general, and its last seventeen years in particular.”
— Oleg Gordievsky in the Literary Review

“Highly informed, crisply written and alarming ... Wise up and stick together is the concluding message in Lucas's outstanding book”
Evening Standard

“An impressive polemic arguing that the West still underestimates the danger that Putin's Russia poses ... A useful appeal for vigilance”
Sunday Times

“Perceptive and accurate ... the KGB regime is attempting to restore the Soviet Empire”
— Vladimir Bukovsky, former Soviet dissident

“If you need a convincing argument for a joined-up EU foreign policy, look no further”
Guardian

“Brilliantly reported, morally unflickered look at what has happened to Russia under Mr. Putin... For bringing the nature of the threat so vividly tolight, Mr. Lucas has performed a public service.”
— Bret Stephens, The Wall Street Journal

“More than timely — if our politicians had read it and acted when it first came out the West would't have been caught with its pants down when Russia invaded Ukraine.”
— Adam Zamoyski, Author and Historian

“A remarkably prescient and insightful book about the true nature of Putin's regime and the threat it poses to Europe, and a gripping read to boot.”
— Philippe Legrain, Former Advisor to the President of the European Commission

“Putin's turn to the past has vindicated Edward Lucas's arguments about the nature of the Russian regime. He understood it better and much earlier than the majority of us. Shrewd analysis, brilliantly written — and a sad story.”
— Lilia Shevtsova, Carnegie Endowment For International Peace, Moscow

"Georgia’s recent skirmish showed the Kremlin’s divide and rule tactics in exploiting dithering western multilateralism; Lucas convincingly shows how this bullying, coupled with historical revisionism and the corruption surrounding Russia’s huge gas reserves, is a potentially explosive combination."
Financial Times

"The title…The New Cold War: Putin’s Russia and the Threat to the West, was treated by some reviewers as a bit of a stretch when it first appeared in 2008; since the conflict in Georgia and this winter’s natural gas crisis, though, it has looked more like prescience."
The New York Review of Books

The Snowden Operation

Inside the West's Greatest Intelligence Disaster

Edward Lucas

In his sensational new book, Economist senior editor Edward Lucas lays bare the naïveté, hypocrisy and sinister background surrounding Edward Snowden, the fugitive American intelligence contractor now living in Moscow. The Snowden Operation, demolishes Snowden's claim to be a whistleblower. Drawing on 30 years' experience observing the world of intelligence, Lucas depicts Snowden as at best reckless and naïve, and at worst a saboteur. He stole far more secrets than were necessary to make his case and did so in a deliberately damaging matter. Any benefits to the public debate about issues such as meta-data and encryption are far outweighed by the damage done to the West’s security, diplomacy and economic interests.

The Snowden Operation highlights the inconsistencies and puzzles in the account of events given by the “Snowdenistas”. It explains how Russia could have sponsored Snowden’s data heist — the greatest disaster ever to hit Western intelligence, and one whose effects have neatly suited Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Kindle eSingle (23 Jan 2014)

Reviews

Review
The Intercept

“An excellent and clear-headed overview of what was valuable to the public in the Snowden leaks, what was damaging about the leaks, why we cannot assume that the undisclosed portions of the cache of documents eluded Russian intelligence operatives, and why why the value of the leaks does not remotely justify the damage they did.”
— Lawfare

“a fascinating and easy-to-read brief look at the greatest intelligence disaster the West has ever experienced….an excellent antidote to that most distressing tendency of liberal societies: masochism.”
— Kyle Orton

“What if Snowden was played by the Russians all along?”
Quartz

The Snowden Operation reviewed by the CIA

Did Snowden Act Alone
Daily Telegraph

Deception

Spies, Lies and How Russia Dupes the West

Edward Lucas

From the capture of Sidney Reilly, the ‘Ace of Spies’, by Lenin’s Bolsheviks in 1925, to the deportation from the USA of Anna Chapman, the ‘Redhead under the Bed’, in 2010, Kremlin and Western spymasters have battled for supremacy for nearly a century.

In Deception Edward Lucas uncovers the real story of Chapman and her colleagues in Britain and America, unveiling their clandestine missions and the spy-hunt that led to their downfall. It reveals unknown triumphs and disasters of Western intelligence in the Cold War, providing the background to the new world of industrial and political espionage. To tell the story of post-Soviet espionage, Lucas draws on exclusive interviews with Russia’s top NATO spy, Herman Simm, and unveils the horrific treatment of a Moscow lawyer who dared to challenge the ruling criminal syndicate there.

Once the threat from Moscow was international communism; now it comes from the siloviki, Russia’s ruthless ‘men of power’.

Bloomsbury Paperbacks (17 Jan 2013)

Excerpt

Dark Soldiers of the New OrderForeign Policy

Praise

“This important book is a sequel to the author’s last indictment of the Putin regime, ‘The New Cold War’, which came out four years ago. ‘Deception’ is, if anything, even more devastating.”
— Daniel Johnson in Standpoint

“Putin [and] his friends … are gangsters on a scale that makes Al Capone or the Corleones seem small-time. By forging a partnership between the Kremlin, Russia’s intelligence services and organised crime, they have institutionalised theft and fraud as their country’s principal economic activities. Lucas is right to castigate our folly in treating all this so lightly.”
— Max Hastings in the Sunday Times

Reviews

Book ReviewThe Washington Times
In the new world of spiesNew York Review of Books
An excellent read, written with verve, pace and authorityDaily Telegraph
A shocking picture of a tyrannical, criminal and murderous countryThe Guardian
Urgent and heartfeltThe Times
Edward Lucas...is fast emerging as the most able nonfiction espionage writer of his generationThe Washington Times
engaging mix of investigative journalism and polemicIntelligence and National Security
Comrades, Gangsters, SpiesWall Street Journal
Entertaining and informativeMail on Sunday
Spy stories always fascinate, and Lucas has real ones to shareForeign Affairs

Slideshow of LSE lecture on Deception

The New Cold War

How the Kremlin Menaces both Russia and the West

Edward Lucas

In late 1999 when Vladimir Putin was named Prime Minister, Russia was a budding democracy. Multiple parties campaigned for seats in the Duma, the nation’s parliament. The media criticized the government freely. Eight years later as Putin completes his second term as president of Russia and announces his bid for prime minister, the country is under a repressive regime. Human rights abuses are widespread. The Kremlin is openly hostile to the West. Yet the United States and Europe have been slow to confront the new reality, in effect, helping Russia win what experts are now calling the New Cold War.

Edward Lucas, former Moscow Bureau Chief for The Economist, offers a harrowing portrait from inside Russia as well as a sobering political assessment of what the New Cold War will mean for the world. In this big, hard hitting and urgently needed book, he shows how

  • Russia is pursuing global energy markets
  • Neighboring nations are being coerced back into the former Soviet orbit
  • Journalists and dissidents are being silenced
  • Foreign investments and private enterprises are routinely defrauded
  • Putin is laying the groundwork for controlling industry and planning his new role as prime minister

Drawing on new and hitherto reported material, The New Cold War brilliantly anticipates what is in store for the new Russia and what the world should be doing.

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2 Feb 2009)

Reviews

The New Cold WarFinancial Times
The Russians Are Coming?The New York Review of Books

Topics

Edward tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

Cyber Security

The New Cold War

Russia, Central and Eastern Europe

Videos

The New Cold War — Who's Winning, and How It Might End

Russia and the Security of Gas Supply in the EU | IIEA1

Debate: Lucas and Hitchens — Poland between Russia and Germany | Cambridge Polish Studies

The Power of the Powerless — Past Struggles and their Current Lessons

Lecturing at the Thomas More Institute, London

Britain Should Not Have Fought in the First World War | Intelligence

Edward Lucas as moderator

Authors@google

Feedback

An independent university institute of postgraduate European studies:
We were absolutely delighted, both by the quality of the lecture and by the attention which Edward gave to our students.

Articles

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— Euromaidan Press
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— The London Times
— The Economist
— The Daily Mail
— The Province
— Politico Magazine
— Telegraph
— Central European Policy Institute
— The Times