Intelligence and Security

Module code: PL7504

The events of 9/11 and the subsequent ‘war on terror’ have made intelligence more central to the study of politics and international relations than at any time previously, reviving old debates and generating new ones. This module considers key issues relating to intelligence.

What exactly is ‘intelligence’? Who seeks to develop it, why and how? Why does it fail? Is a degree of failure inevitable? How accountable are intelligence services? How accountable should they be?

The module also considers the role of intelligence in specific national and historical contexts – for example, intelligence and political culture in the UK and US, intelligence under communism, and intelligence and the Northern Ireland conflict – and examines contemporary debates concerning intelligence failure relating to the 9/11 attacks, the decision to go to war in Iraq and the July 2005 London bombings.