The place of intelligence in political narratives

2012-06-14T13:39:31Z (GMT) by Rob Dover
The study of politics and international relations is fundamentally about observing a complex world, trying to distil the crucial elements within it, labelling and providing qualities to those elements and then trying to draw generalizable lessons. That is the essence of our practice, in my view. Thus, a set of social practices and organisations that set out to shape narratives that are ‘acceptable’ or ‘permissible’ should be one of the central concerns of all those who seek to study politics or international relations. It is my view that not only are intelligence agencies and practices the so-called missing dimension in international relations, but they are the founding elements and sticky glue that binds states together. Within international history intelligencers provide a partially hidden but parallel account of diplomacy and diplomatic interplay that would cause a radical rehistoricisation of all that we understand to be the received wisdom of international relations. (... continues)