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date: 16 September 2019

Summary and Keywords

Intelligence cooperation (or liaison) refers to the sharing of politically useful secret information between states, which may also work together to produce or procure such information. The secret information may be “finished” analyses, single-source reporting, “raw” unprocessed signals intercepts (Sigint), or even “crypto-diplomatic” messages. Cooperation in intelligence operations may occur in highly secret ad hoc meetings, involving verbal briefings or the momentary exposure of documents; in workshops run in tandem with periodic policy conferences or major diplomatic summits; or as a routine interservice function across national lines, sometimes connecting to and through international institutions. The amount of scholarly work on intelligence cooperation has been growing, accompanied by an outpouring of historical studies focused on twentieth-century liaisons and by a wave of works on contemporary intelligence-sharing networks as well as other multilateral forms of intelligence cooperation. There are a number of key correspondences between major concerns of intelligence cooperation studies and salient traditions of mainstream international relations theory such as realism, liberalism, and constructivism. Intelligence cooperation studies also tackle analytical issues relating to bureaucracy and organizational politics, along with various concepts, categories, and conundrums of intelligence cooperation associated with transactional bilateral cooperation, relational bilateral cooperation, relational multilateral cooperation, and transactional multilateral cooperation. A promising but largely undeveloped avenue for research is intelligence support to the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal and others like it.

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

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