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Lecture | Cold War Research Network / Intelligence History Seminar

Transnational Protest of the National Security State: Whistleblowing, Secrecy, and Networks of Dissent

Date
Wednesday 8 May 2019
Time
Address
Wijnhaven
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague
Room
3.48

About the lecture

This talk explores the long, under-examined history of national security whistleblowing. By considering the transnational connections and networks that have facilitated insider revelations in the public interest, it challenges common characterisations of whistleblowing as a security or legal issue, and whistleblowers are heroes or traitors. Examining the case of former-CIA operative Philip Agee, one of the most prominent American whistleblowers in the 1970s, the talk considers his efforts to expose the U.S. national security state, as well as its Latin American and European allies, including the UK, France and the Netherlands. This struggle unfolded over national borders and involved a host of state and non-state actors. It speaks to historic and contemporary questions regarding the possibilities and limits of dissent, the competing demands of national security and democratic transparency, and tensions between state power and civil liberties.

About the speaker

Kaeten Mistry is Senior Lecturer in American History at the University of East Anglia (UK). He has published widely on the history of US foreign relations, the international cold war, intelligence, and secrecy. He is leading an international research project on the history of US national security whistleblowing, which is supported by the UK’s Arts & Humanities Research Council. He is co-editor, along with Hannah Gurman, of Whistleblowing Nation: Disclosing U.S. National Security and the Challenge of Dissent (forthcoming Columbia University Press). Mistry is the author of Waging Political Warfare: The United States, Italy and the Origins of Cold War (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and editor of the Specia Issue “Reforms, Reflections and Reappraisals: The CIA and U.S. Foreign Policy since 1947” (Intelligence and National Security, 2011). His writings have appeared in Cold War HistoryDiplomatic HistoryJournal of American HistoryModern Italy and The Washington Post.

About the lecture series

The Cold War Research Network is organized by three Dutch universities: The University of Amsterdam (Ruud van Dijk), Utrecht University (Laurien Crump) and Leiden University (Giles Scott-Smith), to bring together researchers and students who are interested in the latest approaches to Cold War history and its place in 20th century international history.

Lectures are held each academic year on a rotating basis at each of the participating universities.

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