Mark Curtis photo

Mark Curtis is an author and consultant. He is a former Research Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and has been an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde and Visiting Research Fellow at the Institut Francais des Relations Internationales, Paris and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Auswartige Politik, Bonn.

Mark has written six books on British foreign policies and international development:

Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam (Serpent’s Tail, 2012)
Unpeople: Britain’s Secret Human Rights Abuses
(Vintage, 2004)
Web of Deceit: Britain’s Real Role in the World
, (Vintage, 2003)
Trade for Life: Making Trade Work for Poor People
(Christian Aid, 2001)
The Great Deception: Anglo-American Power and World Order
(Pluto, 1998)
The Ambiguities of Power: British Foreign Policy since 1945
(Zed, 1995).

Mark has also worked on international development issues for over 20 years and manages a consultancy that works with and supports progressive NGOs – Curtis Research. This work focuses on developing countries, especially in Africa, on issues such as food/agriculture, mining, tax, corporations and trade.

Mark is a former Director of the World Development Movement (now called Global Justice Now), Head of Global Advocacy and Policy at Christian Aid and Head of Policy at ActionAid.  He is a graduate of Goldsmiths’ College, University of London and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

To contact Mark, email: mark@markcurtis.info

 twitter: @markcurtis30


24 Responses to “About”

  1. 1 Ameen

    Can I recommend a study of the Islamic world, it is clear that many westerners do not understand why there is so much hatred of the west in Muslim countries. The hatred is based on our historical experience with the west (not religion), but has been forgotten by westerners.

    The study should try to include countries such as Indonesia (and surrounding region), Pre-partioned India, the Greater Middle-east and Eastern Europe (Bosnia, Kosova etc).

  2. 2 Martin Fell

    Hi, recently discovered you whilst reading Chomsky’s Failed States. My library card was maxed so I had to actually cut short that read in order to take out your book (unpeople). I’m sure you get a lot of praise, so I’ll spare you. I am interested in your proposed investigations into the poverty of African farmers and look forward to reading what you come up with.

  3. 3 Omar Hassan

    I bought your fantastic book Web of Deceit – I can’t remember where I heard of it, maybe on http://www.philosophyfootball.com – I agree with the poster above about the need for a decent book on the interaction between the Islamic world and the West – Said’s Orientalism will of course be a vital reference.

  4. 4 Sohail

    Fantastic books. Very informative. Currently reading WoD.

    BTW, please consider removing the picture at the top of this page. For a second I thought, Mark Curtis was the bloke with the semi-automatic weapon in his hand!

  5. “Unpeople” is a very appropriate term for the millions that have been sacrificed for the greed of a small number of megalomaniacs. In truth, every single normal person in this world is an “unperson” to the psychopaths in positions of political and corporate power. For there to be any hope of a change in the status quo it seems essential that the concept of psychopathy be disseminated as far and wide as possible. If normal people the world over were to understand that the massive suffering that defines human existence is not due to fate but rather the presence of veritable wolves in sheep’s clothing in the top positions of the world’s major political and corporate institutions, then we the people would be armed with the knowledge to truly change the world.

    A seminal work on Psychopathy in politics entitled Political Ponerology is a must read.

    Mark, if you would like a copy for review just let me know.

  6. 6 James

    Just a quick note to say how useful I have foud your reserch into the “Mau Mau” emrgency in Kenya. I’m a student researching for dissertation and have an enormous interest in this subject, and the mythology that continues to surround it.

  7. 7 Lewis

    Just thought I’d say a big ‘thankyou’ to you Mark. You’re doing such a great job exposing the myths and bringing out the truth for all to see. It’s people like you, John Pilger and George Monbiot who should be taught at school! i’ll continue to encourage those around me to read your work. (ps i too thought that the picture of the marine above was you!)

  8. 8 Derek

    A note to highlight the quality of ‘Ambiguities of Power’, which doesn’t seem to ever have achieved as much recognition as your more contemporary work. This book is really important as a measured, immpecably researched and argued overview of that which lies just under the surface of any Foreign Policy, ‘Ethical’ or otherwise and has kept me grounded in my own work. Please do keep up the good work.


  9. 9 Rahman Gadir

    Thanks to Heikal and Chatham House for their guidance to your webs’.
    I can be of help in your research re:
    “investigate why hunger is deepening among poor African farmers”.
    I have documentry evidence how corporate agri-machinery manufacturers are selling junk to Africa..ie.Sudan….then how they “British” use Islam and Sharia to escape liabilities, perfectly agravating and promoting poverty, hunger and wars; leaving Sudanese to live on hand outs of the British tax-payers money..i.e. donations..etc..

  10. 10 Patrick Messina

    Dear Mr.

    My name is Patrick Messina and I am a postgraduate student at Coventry University (UK).

    I am currently writing my final dissertation thesis which will partially fulfill my Master of Science in International Business.

    I have chosen to write about the Fair trade movement and its evolution in particular, besides here is my topic:

    “To what extent the Fair Trade can move from a market niche to the mainstream business?”

    I have done some researches so far and I have actually found that you hold a knowledge concerning my subject and I would like to know if u would like to participate and give me your point of view on that challenge facing by the Fair Trade. I would like to interview you by phone and ask you some questions, if it is not possible or not convenient for you, I can send you my questions by mail. Anyway I am looking forward to hear from you and thank you in advance, your contribution will be more than beneficial for my dissertation.

    By the way I have attached to this mail my research proposal which will give you an overview of my research as well as my interview questions, so do not hesitate to have a look.

    My supervisor is Pr Phil Harris, Professor of Plant Science, Head of International Development ( Email: p.harris@coventry.ac.uk )


    Patrick Messina

    Master of Science International Business Student 2008/2009

    Coventry University

    United Kingdom

  11. 11 Bernadette

    Your book ‘Web of Deceit’ has opened up my eyes. Never in my wildest imagination did I think that the British elites could be so calculating. My jaw dropped at the turn of every page in awe and shock. The book is extremely well written with references to every statement. Unlike Niall Ferguson’s ‘Empire; How Britain made the Modern World’ which seeks to legitimise the actions of the British Empire your book provides truth and hope to those who were once affected by British viciousness (as described in your book). Your work is enlightening and dare I say the only hope for all the ‘unpeople’ of this world.

  12. Dear Mr

    My name is Patrick Messina and I wrote a comment on this page fews months ago concerning Fair Trade Evolution and the fact that I was writing a thesis about this very interesting topic.

    Actually, I have just graduated from my Master in International Business and have finished this thesis which is available for reading and downloading on my Online CV page under the portfolio section, here is the weblink: http://www.doyoubuzz.com/patrick-messina

    By the way Happy New Year

    Best Regards

  13. RhG
    I second your careful comments about Mark’s take on IJ on 911. Having worked a lot of my life in historical research the one thing I’m conscious of is the hierarchical nature of information which like all hierarchies the nearer you get to intercepting private notes among the upper echelons the more absurd the contemporary media representation of concurrent events look.
    I rather suspect the wheels of investigation into 911 will turn very slowly in your favour because of this very absurd notion that one of the most devastating attacks on citizens in ‘peacetime’ can become a non crime scene immediately after the event.
    I too like Mark Curtis’ critique of the schematic behind Western Powers and his painstaking cross referencing is a feast. You should read ‘Deception’ by Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark – a pandoras box on US/Pakistan Nuclear dealings

  14. 14 Anas Taunton

    As a revert to Islam, I have discovered to my horror a symbiotic relationship between the UK establishment and the Deobandi/Tablighi following of Islam. The U.S. pairs up with Saudi Salafism to form a boot-camp version of Islam which, against the Sunnah of the prophet, SAW, creates a Hisb, or group of exclusive membership, while Israel has completely controlled and cancelled Islam, through the Muslim Brotherhood and its long arm of influence from Malaysia to Morocco.

    You only have to look at the double face of the UK establishment, that spans the muddled waffling of the Church of England, and the brutality of the current War on Terror, at the same time, to see that it is conceivable for the UK establishment to be capable of simultaneously making war on radical Muslims and utilising radical Islam for its own global aims.

    What is astonishing to me is not the political antics and short-term expediency of the British intellectual class – they have always been satisfied with garbage-in, garbage-out mediocrity, as seen by their taking of Jesus pbuh as an omnipotent, omniscient viceregent for earth for God. Rather the acceptance of petty political trading by the leaders of Islam, by cheating, toe-in-the-door Islam salesmen, who have failed to comprehend that Islam needed sincerity and good example rather than the state benefits, planning permission and population numbers they have purchased with their devious political double-dealings

  15. Hi Mark,

    Pro. Noam Chomsky recommends your works so I am going to hold of your books. I look forward to reading them. I will keep in touch. Cheers

  16. 16 Mark Smith

    Having just finished ‘Secret Affairs’, it appears to me that the UK is getting its own Noam Chomsky.
    I have read several of Marks previous books, which have all being very good. However, this one is in a class all of its own.

    I do believe people living in glass houses shouldn’t throw hand grenades, therefore, it is great that at last, we in the UK, have such an informative research tool as this book.

    It is a truly outstanding book which brings a chronological & geographical cohesiveness underpinned with an excellent depth of evidence, no mean feat given the amount of topics covered. Almost a one stop shop for Britains antics whereby all evidence presented can easily be checked.

    In order to mitigate the damage caused by the UK will require a fundamental engagement of the masses. I would like to see Marks next book be simplified and cross relate all evidence specifically to how it affects the lives of the average Joe on the street in the UK i.e through fuel prices, life saving drugs becoming out of reach of the working class etc.. such a book could further assist in such an engagement.
    As much as i love ‘Secret Affairs’ i feel only a small minority will read it and, therefore, its effects limited.

    Nevertheless, an outstanding book and my deep gratitude to Mark for providing us with such great material.

    Best Regards.

  17. 17 Subversive Brighton

    Just read Web of Deceit. Totally indispensible for anyone who wants to know what is really going on in the world.

  18. 18 John P

    Mark here is a link to to an excellent review of your book “Secret Affairs” in the progressive Indian magazine Frontline under the title
    “Islamist proxies” by Mayssoun Sukarieh who teaches anthropology at the American University of Cairo.

    The reviewer ends his review with the following two paragraph:
    “The first hundred days of Mohamad Morsy rule have proved that this is the path the Muslim Brotherhood is taking, a path Curtis predicted by closely reading the archives and analysing documents with a critical eye without falling into conspiracy theories. “If it sounds conspiratorial, it is spelled out in the planning files,” says Curtis. “The most obvious is dividing the Middle East after 1918, but throughout the 1950s and 1960s—which I refer to in the book—by keeping oil countries under separate political control so no one can gang up on the West. One should follow the elites’ interest and not resort to conspiracy to understand the situation.”

    The book, thus, is a must read not only for those who are interested in this historical account, but also for those who want to analyse the rise to power of the Islamists parties in Egypt and Tunisia despite their cautious participation in the revolutions.”

    The magazine also had a summary of your book on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, under title “How Britain cultivated Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood in the 1940s and 1950s”

  19. 19 Dr Chris Erswell

    Hi Mark. Read Unpeople recently. Superb. Just re-reading Web of Deceit. Excellent exposition. Must get your latest works.

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