Call for Papers: From Russia with Love – the study of intelligence meets International Relations

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The XVIII Nordic Political Science Congress will be held in Odense, Denmark, August 8-11, 2017

From Russia with Love – the study of intelligence meets International Relations


Textbooks for students about theories of international relations are remarkably silent on the topic of espionage. This is a serious flaw, because the state practice of espionage has affected decisions and outcomes in world affairs. For instance, the Iraq war is often seen as an intelligence failure. Or, take the Korean War – the Americans knew about the Soviet air support for North Korea from their intelligence. This workshop seeks to remedy this flaw by bringing together Nordic scholars who study the intelligence practices of selected states or non-state actors. As the two chairpersons represent two vital disciplines within the study of intelligence - political science and history, respectively - this is a workshop that is open to multidisciplinary papers and debates. Indeed, our ambition is to further cross-fertilize and perhaps launch a joint publication if the participants feel it makes sense.

The workshop invites papers dealing with any topic within the field of intelligence studies. Studies of Russian and Soviet espionage are indeed welcome as indicated through the title of the workshop, but so are studies of contemporary Chinese espionage activity, studies of private intelligence actors, industrial espionage as an issue within IPE (International Political Economy), Stasi studies, covert CIA action, etc. One paper will be devoted to reflecting upon the broader approaches within the study of IR (realism, liberalism, constructivism, the English school, geo-economics) as well as the agent-principal approach known from administrative science and their possible application upon the phenomenon of espionage. Such a macro-perspective upon the field might serve the didactic purpose of opening the teaching of IR to intelligence studies.

Contact Information:

Mette Skak, PhD Associate Professor, Dept. of Political Science, Aarhus University,

Thomas Wegener Friis, PhD Associate Professor, Dept. of History, Center for Cold War Studies, SDU.