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Title: On 'a continuum with expansion' : UK-US intelligence relations & wider reflections on international intelligence liaison
Author: Svendsen, Adam D. M.
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2008
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Since 9/11, intelligence liaison has increased exponentially. Yet, both in international affairs and within the academic fields of international relations (IR) and intelligence studies, the phenomenon of intelligence liaison remains under-researched and under-theorised. Moreover, intelligence studies remain remarkably disconnected from IR. Accordingly, this study attempts to advance a timely understanding of both international intelligence liaison generally, and UK-US intelligence liaison specifically, in a contemporary context. Methodologically, this is accomplished through conducting a qualitative analysis of UK-US intelligence liaison focussed on two ‘critical’ and ‘intensive’ case studies. These represent the key issues over which the UK and US have liaised, namely counter-terrorism and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) non-/counter-proliferation. In practical terms, the ‘rise’ of intelligence liaison can be substantially explained. However, the phenomenon itself can only be ‘theorised’ so far. Intelligence is, by its very nature, a fragmented subject. Accordingly, cascades of complexities increasingly enter, especially at the lower/micro levels of analysis - where the details and specifics concerning particular sources and operations matter further. Therefore, intelligence liaison effectively represents the concept of ‘complex co-existence plurality’ in action. This is both at and across all its different, yet closely interrelated, levels of analysis, and also when broken down into eight systemic variables or attributes. Notwithstanding this complexity, wider conclusions can be drawn, allowing this thesis to advance the proposition that we are now witnessing the globalisation of intelligence. Overall, this trend is facilitated through the developments occurring in a web of overlapping international intelligence liaison arrangements, which collectively span the globe. Reflective of a continuously evolving attempt for ‘optimum outreach’, these intraliaison developments include: firstly, the establishing of frameworks and defining of operational parameters for the intelligence liaison arrangements, and then their subsequent consolidation (or normalisation) and optimisation over time. These wider trends are simultaneously observable in the microcosm of UK-US intelligence liaison relations, which are also on ‘a continuum with expansion’ as the UK and US remain broadly exemplary ‘friends and allies’.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JZ International relations