Universiteit Leiden

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ISGA Research Seminar: Communicating secrets: the motives, methods, and risks of using intelligence for influence in domestic and international politics

Monday 14 November 2022
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague
Common room ISGA, and via Teams (keek op de week link).

About this research seminar

Intelligence is generally collected and used in secret to inform internal audiences. Before and after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, however, the UK and US governments – as well as other NATO members and the Ukrainian government itself – have deployed intelligence extensively to influence external audiences, both publicly and privately, regarding Russian intentions, capabilities and practices, and the consequences of Russian actions.
While the scale, manner and initially pre-emptive nature of these disclosures represent a significant evolutionary step in how liberal-democratic governments use their intelligence assets, current practice has built upon historical precedents. Situating the past nine months within both historical and contemporary trends and an analytical framework, this talk examines why states choose to use intelligence this way; the different methods they deploy for doing so; and the associated risks and costs that will need careful management if this practice is to continue at such scale. 

About the speaker and the discussant

Dr Thomas Maguire is an Assistant Professor of Intelligence and Security in the Institute of Security and Global Affairs, Leiden University, and Visiting Fellow with the King's Intelligence and Security Group in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London (KCL). Tom's research streams are two-fold. Firstly, he is examining interactions between intelligence and propaganda in international politics, especially through covert action as a foreign policy tool. This forms the basis for a forthcoming book with Oxford University Press, The intelligence-propaganda nexus: British and American covert action in Cold War Southeast Asia (2022). Secondly, he is exploring the politics and impacts of international security cooperation, in particular security assistance relationships between states in Africa and Asia and the United Kingdom and their post-colonial legacies during the Cold War and so-called Global War on Terror.

Lena Riecke is a PhD candidate at Leiden University’s Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) in The Hague. Her research focuses on governing the transfer of ‘dual-use cyber surveillance technologies’ (spyware) to states that abuse it to violate fundamental human rights.

For whom?

The research seminars are open to all levels of seniority  - ranging from PhD candidates to senior professors in order to ensure a vibrant exchange and also feed-back opportunities for all. 

More information

For further information and the teams link, please contact Dr Lydie Cabane.

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