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Updated references; added discussion of concern with "politicization," including the concept of "collusive politicization"; expanded discussions of realism and constructivism.

Updated on 26 March 2019. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 19 September 2019

Summary and Keywords

Intelligence cooperation (or liaison) refers to the sharing or exchange of politically useful secret information between states, which may also work together to produce or procure such information. There are many important connections between the key concerns of intelligence cooperation and the cooperation problems and solutions illuminated in mainstream traditions of international relations theory (realism, liberalism, and constructivism), and work on bureaucratic and organizational politics. These are captured in a descriptive typology that breaks down intelligence cooperation relationships into four classes, reflecting the number of states and quality of reciprocity involved. Those are transactional bilateral cooperation, relational bilateral cooperation, transactional multilateral cooperation, and relational multilateral cooperation. Across these categories, the most important concepts, conjectures, and conundrums of intelligence cooperation are found.

Keywords: intelligence, international institutions, intelligence cooperation, intelligence cooperation studies, international relations, realism, liberalism, constructivism, bureaucracy, organizational politics, security cooperation, international security, alliances, alliance politics

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