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Intelligence Elites and Public Accountability

Relationships of Influence with Civil Society

Vian Bakir (Bangor University, UK)



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09 December 2019
Peace studies & conflict resolution; Political campaigning & advertising; Military intelligence
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.
By:   Vian Bakir (Bangor University UK)
Imprint:   Routledge
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 156mm, 
Weight:   454g
ISBN:   9780367457655
ISBN 10:   0367457652
Series:   Studies in Intelligence
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   09 December 2019
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
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

Vian Bakir is Professor 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).

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