Glenny is the son of the Russian studies academic Michael Glenny. He was educated at an independent school, Magdalen College School, in Oxford, and studied at the University of Bristol and Prague's Charles University before becoming Central Europe correspondent for The Guardian and later the BBC. He specialised in reporting on the Yugoslav wars in the early 1990s that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia. While at the BBC, Glenny won 1993's Sony Gold Award for his 'outstanding contribution to broadcasting'. He wrote three books about Central and Eastern Europe. In McMafia (2008), he wrote that international organised crime could account for 15% of the world's GDP.
Glenny advised the US and some European governments on policy issues and for three years ran an NGO helping with the reconstruction of Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo. Glenny appeared in the 2011 documentary film, Raw Opium: Pain, Pleasure, Profits.
Since January 2012, Glenny has been visiting professor at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, teaching a course on "crime in transition". In an interview in October 2011 he also spoke about his new book, DarkMarket; assessing cybercriminals with Simon Baron-Cohen at Cambridge; the Stuxnet cyberattack which resulted in "gloves off" attention from governments; and other more recent cyberattacks.
This section lacks ISBNs for the books listed in it. (April 2015)
- The Rebirth Of History: Eastern Europe in the Age of Democracy (1991)
- The Fall of Yugoslavia: The Third Balkan War (1992)
- The Balkans: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers, 1804–1999 (1999)
- McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld (2008)
- DarkMarket: Cyberthieves, Cybercops and You (2011)
- Nemesis: One Man and the Battle for Rio (2015)
- Misha Glenny "My family values", The Guardian, 28 February 2009; retrieved 14 April 2015.
- McMafia: Crime Without Frontiers, The Bodley Head, London, 2008; retrieved 14 April 2015.
- Raw Opium webpage, Kensington Communications website; retrieved 14 April 2015.
- Speaker bio: Misha Glenny, Govcert.nl; retrieved 14 April 2015.
- "Misha Glenny on his book 'DarkMarket:..." (20 m.), Charlie Rose interview, 26 October 2011. Video available; no transcript; details from viewing; retrieved 14 April 2015.
- Szalai, Georg (5 April 2017). "MIPTV: 'Drive' Writer and 'McMafia' Author on Teaming Up for BBC/AMC Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 22 May 2017.