Intelligence Elites and Public Accountability: Relationships of Influence with Civil Society (Hardback) book cover

Intelligence Elites and Public Accountability

Relationships of Influence with Civil Society

By Vian Bakir

© 2018 – Routledge

288 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138309388
pub: 2018-04-19
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This book provides a definitive overview of the relationships of influence between civil society and intelligence elites.

The secrecy surrounding intelligence means that publication of intelligence is highly restricted, barring occasional whistle-blowing and sanitised official leaks. These characteristics mean that intelligence, if publicised, can be highly manipulated by intelligence elites, while civil society’s ability to assess and verify claims is compromised by absence of independent evidence. There are few studies on the relationship between civil society and intelligence elites, which makes it hard to form robust assessments or practical recommendations regarding public oversight of intelligence elites. Addressing that lacuna, this book analyses two case studies of global political significance. The intelligence practices they focus on (contemporary mass surveillance and Bush-era torture-intelligence policies) have been presented as vital in fighting the ‘Global War on Terror’, enmeshing governments of scores of nation-states, while challenging internationally established human rights to privacy and to freedom from torture and enforced disappearance. The book aims to synthesise what is known on relationships of influence between civil society and intelligence elites. It moves away from disciplinary silos, to make original recommendations for how a variety of academic disciplines most likely to study the relationship between civil society and intelligence elites (international relations, history, journalism and media) could productively cross-fertilise. Finally, it aims to create a practical benchmark to enable civil society to better hold intelligence elites publicly accountable.

This book will be of great interest to students of intelligence studies, surveillance, media, journalism, civil society, democracy and IR in general.

Table of Contents

Chapter One. Intelligence Elites and Civil Society: A New Research Agenda

Chapter Two. Civil Society, Intelligence Elites and Influence: A Systematic Review

Chapter Three. Theorising Intelligence Elite Public Accountability

Chapter Four. Studying Intelligence Elites, Civil Society, and Relationships of Influence

Chapter Five. The Torture-Intelligence Issue: Relationships of Influence During Journalism-as-Usual

Chapter Six. The Mass Surveillance Issue: Relationships of Influence During Whistle-Blowing

Chapter Seven. Conclusion: Towards Better Public Accountability of Intelligence Elites

About the Author

Vian Bakir isProfessor in Political Communication and Journalism at Bangor University, Wales. Her books include Torture, Intelligence and Sousveillance in the War on Terror (2013); Sousveillance, Media and Strategic Political Communication (2010); and (with David Barlow) Communication in the Age of Suspicion (2007).

About the Series

Studies in Intelligence

The growing interest in intelligence activities and the opening of hitherto closed archives since the end of the Cold War has stimulated this series of scholarly monographs, wartime memoirs and edited collections. With contributions from leading academics and prominent members of the intelligence community, this series has quickly become the leading forum for the academic study of intelligence.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Civil Rights
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Intelligence
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Privacy & Surveillance (see also SOCIAL SCIENCE / Privacy & Surveillance)