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R. Thomas Naylor is an economics professor, specializing in the interesting part of the discipline, rather than the kind with calculus in it.

Naylor teaches and writes largely about the underground economy -- why people find it profitable to break the law, and how they do it. He specializes in processes such as money laundering and the illegal arms trade, trying to explain how all the necessary players (especially "official" ones working under the table) find breaking the law (often on a grand scale) worthwhile.

He has advised the United Nations and World Bank on economic rescue operations in desperately corrupt states on the verge of collapse; think Albania or Nigeria.

In the same vein, he's done some work on "ecological economics," trying to define policies that place the burden for pollution, for example, where it belongs -- not just on polluters, but on the consumers who make polluting profitable.

Naylor is, essentially, a throwback to the days of political economy, before it was split into two fields (economics and "political science") because not everyone who wanted to study why people behave as they do in formal social structures could handle the math.

R.T. Naylor teaches at McGill University in Montreal and is a senior fellow at the widely respected Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Toronto.

In person, he's a bit of an ass. He's a hotshot, is deeply aware of it, and doesn't care if you know he's aware of it.

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