©2017 by Corruption Watch UK

Paul Holden

Director of Investigations

Paul Holden is a South African-born and London-based historian, researcher, writer and activist.


He has published five books to date on issues related to corruption, governance and democratic practice, and the arms trade.


Paul was most recently published in 2017 as the lead author of Indefensible: The Seven Myths that Sustain the Global Arms Trade, published by Zed Publishers. Two of his books – The Arms Deal in Your Pocket (2008) and Who Rules South Africa (2012) – were major national best-sellers. His major investigative work to date was the book The Devil in the Detail: How the Arms Deal Changed Everything (2011), which collated the result of years of detailed investigation into South Africa’s biggest post-apartheid scandal.

The Devil in the Detail was published to wide acclaim, with local and international media running lengthy stories based on the new material uncovered.


Since 2009, Paul has worked closely with Andrew Feinstein, acting as the lead researcher for Feinstein’s The Shadow World and as co-author, along with fellow colleague Barnaby Pace, of the lead article in the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s  (SIPRI) 2011 Yearbook. The article – discussing the nature of corruption in the global armaments trade – is the first time that SIPRI has dedicated a lead article to this pressing topic.

Paul and Andrew Feinstein have also recently authored an explanatory article on the nature of arms trafficking for the Oxford Handbook for Organised Crime. 


Paul has appeared regularly on South African and international news platforms discussing issues related to corruption and its impact on development and democratisation in developing countries.