Theories of collective intelligence and decision-making : towards a viable United Nations intelligence system
The idea of a United Nations (UN) intelligence system is widely misunderstood and debates about it seem to be both misplaced and anecdotal. The lack of a consistent theory on intelligence has fostered the widely held view that such a system is not feasible or incompatible with the UN collective security system. This dissertation takes as its central thesis, the question, of whether an intelligence system is both desirable and feasible within the UN structure. In spite of the fact that no known study has so far engaged with the subject matter at the depth presented in this dissertation, the study advances the concept of collective intelligence, and its implications for managing international conflicts. The dissertation examines existing barriers in efforts to interface intelligence system with the UN structure, and proposes that, with suitable refinements, the concept of intelligence need not be incompatible with the UN system. It is also argued that these constraints should not preclude evolutionary changes to include an intelligence system that is compatible with an organisation such as the UN. By developing a concept of collective intelligence, the thesis proposes theoretical frameworks that suggest a potential nature of a viable intelligence capability within the UN. The analysis is developed normatively and conceptually, which lead to a further conclusion that the UN already possesses an intelligence capability which exists in manner that is not recognised. The lack of scholarly efforts to ground such a system on a reasonable framework creates a vacuum in the study of international organisations, and in particular the United Nations system. At a minimum, this dissertation fills this gap.