Article

Intelligence

Christopher Andrew and Kristian Gustafson

in International Relations

ISBN: 9780199743292
Published online March 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199743292-0020
Intelligence

Preview

Intelligence (information gathering) as a field of academic study is relatively new. It is only since World War II that academics and practitioners have attempted to write about the field as a serious endeavor, though in that time it has generated something more than 10,000 academic monographs and countless articles. As a field, it is most closely allied with diplomatic, political, and military history; law enforcement; and also, increasingly, with international relations. Other aspects of intelligence studies touch on psychology, organizational theory, management, and many of the hard sciences. The field contains significant political debate over the propriety and morality of intelligence within modern liberal-democratic states, with some viewing intelligence practice as inimical to political openness, while others consider intelligence collection and analysis as a normal, universal state activity. Within the bibliography, a split can generally be identified between historical works and those that address the “theory of intelligence.” There is currently no universally accepted definition of “intelligence,” which is a matter of ongoing theoretical debate. Without attempts at independent definition here, it can rather be concluded from the literature below that intelligence is a secret state activity to understand or influence foreign entities (Warner 2002, cited under Defining Intelligence). To wit, it must be noted that “intelligence” is both information and the organized system for collecting and exploiting that information. The word intelligence can thus be used to describe an activity, a product of that activity, and the organization that carries out the activity. These broad definitional categories inform the selection of works below. It should also be noted that this article focuses largely on national or strategic-level intelligence.

Article.  15848 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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