4th General Conference of ECPR

Linked with Robert Springborg – UK AU USA Egypt etc, with Geneva Centre for the DEMOCRATIC CONTROL OF ARMED FORCES DCAF, and with Political Islam and Europe.

Fourth General Conference of the European Consortium for Political Research ECPR, to be held on 6-8 September 2007 in Pisa, Italy.

This conference will host a section devoted to the study of intelligence governance. The section will be jointly organised by the Geneva Graduate Institute for International Relations, the John Moore University in Liverpool and DCAF.

Registration and all informations:

Excerpt of one of the proposed sections: Perspectives on Intelligence Governance.

Both national and international security and defence decision-making depends on the intelligence provided by secret services. Intelligence has become even more important at a time when policies of prevention and disruption are deployed against both state and non-state actors. Yet, while policy-makers cherish the flexible, rapid and often clandestine modi operandi of modern intelligence agencies in the pursuit of an increasingly multi-dimensional security agenda, they may ignore intelligence if it conflicts with their preferred policies. Social scientists are called upon to explain the growing range of activities and network of actors as well as to elaborate on the numerous consequences of modern intelligence governance for democratic societies.

The basic problem for the governance of intelligence services can be stated as how to provide for public and transparent control of a government function and institutions which need to operate in secret because of their mandate to protect national security. While the secrecy that surrounds intelligence services may be necessary, it may also encourage or cover up abuse, illegal and unethical practices. Indeed, in the recent past, various scandals concerning the functioning of intelligence services such as rendition, torture and killings have highlighted the problems of governing intelligence services. With this section, we seek to provide a critical review of the main factors as well as challenges to intelligence governance. Aiming for a multi-disciplinary exchange of research perspectives, we encourage paper proposals on:

  • - Intelligence control / intelligence accountability;
  • - Regional / international intelligence cooperation;
  • - Renditions, illegal detention, and torture vs. intelligence ethics;
  • - Methods for intelligence research;
  • - Privatisation of intelligence;
  • - HUMINT and TECHINT: issues of effectiveness and rights in counter terrorism;
  • - Intelligence, Politicisation and Abuse;
  • - National approaches to intelligence democratisation.

(full long text and all proposals about ‘Perspectives on Intelligence Governance’).

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